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IntrospectJoe South's first album Introspect is southern soul at its finest. Originally released in 1968, this album is now available as a single LP in celebration of Capitol Records' 75th anniversary.1. All My Hard Times
2. Rose Garden
3. Mirror Of Your Mind
5. Don't Throw Your Love To The Wind
6. The Greatest Love
7. Games People Play
8. These Are Not My People
9. Don't You Be Ashamed
10. Birds Of A Feather
11. Gabriel$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
One Mo' 'GenOne Mo' 'Gen is the second album by Southern rap group 95 South, released in 1995. It peaked at #158 on the Billboard 200 and contained the minor hit Rodeo which peaked at #77 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was produced mostly by the production duo of Jay Ski and C.C. Lemonhead, who also were members of the 69 Boyz and formed the Quad City DJ's. It didn't chart quite as well as the group's debut, Quad City Knock; however, it is described by Allmusic as an improvement on their debut, featuring more confident rapping and stronger, funkier backing tracks.LP 1
2. Quad City Funk
3. All the Way Down
5. Wine & Dine
6. One Mo' 'Gen
7. Trip 2 the Geto
1. I Tell U What
2. Ride Out
3. Freak Ya Down
4. Heiny Heiny
5. Break It on Down
6. Down South
7. Cowboy Mix$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
REDD-SWA-8900xTony Joe White
The Shine (Awaiting Repress)One of the most distinctive and respected songwriters of the Deep South, Tony Joe White, gets raw and real on his new record THE SHINE, set for a September 28 release on his own Swamp Records. THE SHINE is a stripped-down collection of ten new White-penned songs that beautifully lays bare his rich, nuanced baritone, and distinctive brand of swampy southern soul.
While Whites critically acclaimed Uncovered featured a slew of special guests including Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald and J.J. Cale, THE SHINE is all about White. He produced and recorded the album himself in his home studio outside Nashville. From the first whispery notes of Season Man, in which he recounts an ominous dream, to the records closing track, A Place to Watch the Sun Go Down, THE SHINE is an album of understated beauty and beguiling mystery.1. Season Man
2. Ain't Doing Nobody No Good
3. Paintings on the Mountain
4. Tell Me Why
6. Long Way from the River
7. Strange Night
8. Something to Soften the Blow
9. Roll Train Roll
10. A Place to Watch the Sun Go Down$18.99Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Pick Me UpTRUTH & SALVAGE CO.'s second album, PICK ME UP (Megaforce/Sony RED), is a work that powerfully builds on their stirring blend of rock and Americana introduced on their acclaimed 2010 self-titled debut album. Distinguished by their four lead vocalists and five songwriters, plus soaring four-part harmonies and a strong guitar-keyboard meld, the band co-produced the album this time around with Jon Ashley, while longtime band cohort Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) handled the mix. It is a joyous tour de force recorded at Echo Mountain studio in Asheville, NC that features 12 original tracks and a cover of Joe South's Grammy-winning 1968 hit "Games People Play." Opening with the plaintive "The Bad Times," the album shifts into high gear with "Silver Lining" and keeps the highlights coming with such songs as "Appalachian Hilltop," "Bird On The Wing," "I'm Not Your Boyfriend," the title track and the rollicking "So Sad."
True to its title PICK ME UP, this is an album that soars. Tim Jones says, "We liked the triple meaning of 'pick me up,' how you could not only be asking someone for a ride, or literally encouraging someone to pick up the album, but also how it's a metaphorical lift, which we were feeling we needed throughout the process." Walker Young adds, "Lyrically we wanted that song to have an inspiring message, it's talking about hope and perseverance in the face of loneliness and just the challenges of everyday life. The sonic mix we ended up getting matches the vibe perfectly, I think. It's definitely a feel-good album we were going for joyous revelry, music that would inspire the heart and mind."
Scott Kinnebrew says the time between their first and second albums helped them grow: "We have had, really, four years since recording our first record and we have been playing our asses off. So we are better players." Adam Grace elaborates: "For this record, we just wanted to record what we do live onstage every night. We kept things loose, had a bunch of fun, and just played and sung our hearts out. The result is a record that shows the real chemistry we share. You can hear it oozing from every song."1. The Bad Times
2. Silver Lining
3. Bird on the Wing
5. Appalachian Hilltop
6. Games People Play
7. I'm Not Your Boyfriend
8. Back in Your Love
9. Pick Me Up
10. So Sad
11. Shady River
12. Middle Island Creek
13. All Stand Tall$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Surfing In San JosePressed On 140 Gram Clear Vinyl
Limited Edition Of 1,000 Copies
Live Broadcast Of An Intimate Performance At The Cabaret Club - San Jose, CA - 1988
This superb 1988 live recording catches guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Joe Satriani at the outset of an astonishing career that has seen him sell more than 10 million albums worldwide. Satriani's performance this evening - broadcast live from the intimate Cabaret club in San Jose, just south of San Francisco - presents an exceedingly potent collection of material drawn almost exclusively from his first two studio albums.LP 1
2. Ice 9
5. Circles / Drum Solo
1. Hordes Of Locusts
2. The Crush Of Love
3. Always With Me, Always With You
4. Satch Boogie
5. Surfing With The Alien$37.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
To The DeathBrazilian death metal veterans NervoChaos release "To the Death" via Greyhaze Records. This album features guest performances by big names in the international and South American Metal scenes such as Ralph Santolla (Death, Deicide), João (Ratos de Porão) and Zhema (Vulcano).
The album's cover art is done by Joe Petagno (Motorhead).1. Mark of The Beast
2. Sheep Amongst Wolves
3. Your World's Trend
4. Gospel of Judas
5. The Exile
6. To The Death
8. Smoking Mortal Remains
9. Mind Under Siege
10. Delusions and Lies
11. Destroyer of Worlds
12. Warlords Unbound
13. Wolves Curse$35.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Uniquely YoursA decade before he was topping the country charts, Joe Stampley fronted one of the deep souths most legendary and rockin 60s combos, the Uniques. Once signed to Shreveport, Louisiana-based Paula Records, the Uniques made waves nationally on their very first release, Not Too Long Ago. That pop classic (faithfully/recently covered by Nick Lowe) is just one of many highlights of their 66 debut LP, Uniquely Yours. According to the master tape, this record was originally going to be tagged The Uniques in Action; a shelved album title that could not have been more apt.
Finally reissued (and in fabulous mono, to boot), this is southern rock n soul at its finest; a real mÉlange of styles that swings wildly from deep-fried garage rock, frenzied frat-beat, infectious Stampley-penned pop, and gorgeously soulful ballads. From Presley and Gene Vincent to any Justice label 60s garage band worth mentioning, southerners have always littered their LPs with this latter fare. But when it comes to delivering a soulful ballad, Joe Stampley is up there with the very best of em. Uniquely Yours includes the groups all-time biggest regional hit, a cover of Art Nevilles All These Things (in its original mix, unadorned by string overdubs) and a Georgia (On My Mind) that simply blows away all other white boy soul renditions. But make no mistake, this is a largely uptempo set marked by the ferocious punk pace of You Aint Tuff, updated rockabilly funkiness of Fast Way of Living, blistering guitar workouts like Strange, plus some of the best damned covers ever waxed. For a positively unique album experience, Sundazed includes the classy period sleeve design from the original Paula release.1. You Ain't Tuff
2. From Heaven To a Heartbreak
3. Midnight Hour
4. All These Things
5. Not Too Long Ago
6. Fast Way of Living
7. Treat Her Right
8. Georgia On My Mind
10. Never Been In Love Before
11. Don't Be a Fool
12. House of the Rising Sun$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Blonde On Blonde (Box Set) (Awaiting Repress)Ranked 9/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
That Thin, That Wild Mercury Sound: Dylans Ground-Shaking 1966 Double LP Sent Tremors Throughout the World
Wider Grooves, Superior Sound: Mobile Fidelitys 45RPM Edition The Last Word in Analog Fidelity
Recorded With One of The Most Ear-Awakening Lineups Ever Assembled: Al Kooper, Pig Robbins, Joe South, Kenny Buttrey, and The Bands Rick Danko and Robbie Robertson Among Musicians
Vaudeville, Contemporary Pop, Fiery Rock and Roll, Memphis Blues, Folk-Derived Sagas Among Enriched Palette of Styles
Blonde on Blonde: A double album that transcends time, defies space, suspends reality, and looks through the human soul and tells the listener characteristics about themselves they didnt know. Professor Sean Wilentz, historian-in-residence for Bob Dylans Web site, comes as close to summing up its brilliance in his superb Bob Dylan In America as any whove tried: The songs are rich meditations on desire, frailty, promises, boredom, hurt, envy, connections, missed connections, paranoia, and transcendent beautyin short, the lures and snare of love, stock themes of rock and pop music, but written with a powerful literary imagination and played out in a pop netherworld. No lie.
As part of its Bob Dylan catalog restoration series, Mobile Fidelity is thoroughly humbled to have the privilege of mastering the iconic LP from the original master tapes and pressing it on 45RPM LPs at RTI. The end result is the very finest, most transparent analog edition of Blonde on Blonde ever produced. Forever renowned for what the Bard deemed that thin, that wild mercury sound, the albums famed aural character lives and breathes on this superb version, with wider and deeper grooves affording playback of previously buried information and lifelike presentation of the studio sessions.
Forever prized for a unique sound that cultural critic Greil Marcus tagged the most glamorous record imaginable; listening you [can] see the checkered jesters suit Dylan had worn on stage for the nine previous, furious months, Blonde on Blonde is to music, production, prose, and performance as what hydrogen is to water. The secret to its inimitable aural character partially stems from Dylans request in Nashville to producer Bob Johnston to remove the baffles from the studio room, allowing the musicians to interact as well as the music to assume a more organic quality that drifts from one microphone to another. Mobile Fidelitys reissue captures this ensemble ambience, with echoes, resonation, and some of the most natural timbres youll ever hear in plain sight.
The story of Blonde on Blonde is almost as compelling as the music within. Dylan, frustrated with how initial attempts fared in New York, relocating to Tennessee and pairing with Nashvilles top session players as well as members of what would become the Band, feverishly chasing perfectionism while also arriving at an on-the-fly feel that remains a reference point for recorded music. The Bard sweated over lyrics, demanded his band get the exact sounds he heard in his head, and limited most takes to a handful at most. A majority of songs were recorded long after midnight, the post-A.M. vibe reflected in the nocturnal aura, woozy optimism, inversion of intervals, and spiritual soulfulness of the playing.
As for the tunes? Chapters of books and lengthy theses are dedicated to the sheer conscious-altering power, mythical weight, character cast, and convention-obscuring magnetism of the lyricsto say nothing of the sophisticated albeit pure playing within, as arrangements touch upon gospel, R&B, pop, traditional and contemporary blues, vaudeville, folk, and more. Then theres Dylans inventive phrasing, his manipulation of pitch and locution, helping the narratives to take on epic, inchoate, and cryptic meanings that continue to be deciphered to this day. Punch lines occur as frequently as romantic declarations, all delivered with salient references, traditional parallels, and elusive interpretations on par with those of Shakespeare.
Visions of Johanna. I Want You. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. Absolutely Sweet Marie. We could go on. Essential doesnt even begin to cover the genius of this record that, now, sounds better than Dylan himself can imagine.
Given the sonic and artistic merit of this album, we anticipate huge demand.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
2. Pledging My Time
3. Visions of Johanna
4. One of Must Know (Sooner or Later)
5. I Want You
6. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
7. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
8. Just Like a Woman
9. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And Ill Go Mine)
10. Temporary Like Achilles
11. Absolutely Sweet Marie
12. 4th Time Around
13. Obviously 5 Believers
14. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands$84.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 3 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Paul Simon (Awaiting Repress)If any musical justification were needed for the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel, it could be found on this striking collection, Paul Simon's post-split debut. From the opening cut, Mother and Child Reunion (a Top Ten hit), Simon, who had snuck several subtle musical explorations into the generally conservative S&G sound, broke free, heralding the rise of reggae with an exuberant track recorded in Jamaica for a song about death. From there, it was off to Paris for a track in South American style and a rambling story of a fisherman's son, Duncan (which made the singles chart). But most of the album had a low-key feel, with Simon on acoustic guitar backed by only a few trusted associates (among them Joe Osborn, Larry Knechtel, David Spinozza, Mike Manieri, Ron Carter, and Hal Blaine, along with such guests as Stefan Grossman, Airto Moreira, and Stephane Grappelli), singing a group of informal, intimate, funny, and closely observed songs (among them the lively Top 40 hit Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard). It was miles removed from the big, stately ballad style of Bridge Over Troubled Water and signaled that Simon was a versatile songwriter as well as an expressive singer with a much broader range of musical interests than he had previously demonstrated. You didn't miss Art Garfunkel on Paul Simon, not only because Simon didn't write Garfunkel-like showcases for himself, but because the songs he did write showed off his own, more varied musical strengths.
- William Ruhlmann (All Music Guide)1. Mother and Child Reunion
3. Everything Put Together Falls Apart
4. Run That Body Down
5. Armistice Day
6. Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
7. Peace Like a River
8. Papa Hobo
9. Hobo's Blues
10. Paranoia Blues
11. Congratulations$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
The River & The ThreadI went back to where I was born, and these songs started arriving in me, says Rosanne Cash. All these things happened that made me feel a deeper connection to the South than I ever had. We started finding these great stories, and the melodies that went with those experiences.
With The River and the Thread, Cash has added the next chapter to a remarkable period of creativity. Her last two albums, Black Cadillac (2006) and The List (2009), were both nominated for Grammy Awards; The List-an exploration of essential songs as selected and given to Rosanne by her father, Johnny Cash-was also named Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association. In addition, her best-selling 2010 memoir, Composed, was described by the Chicago Tribune as one of the best accounts of an American life you will likely ever read.
Cash, who has charted 21 Top 40 country singles, including 11 Number Ones, wrote all of the new album's songs with her longtime collaborator (and husband) John Leventhal, who also served as producer, arranger, and guitarist. Featuring a long list of guests-from young guns like John Paul White (The Civil Wars) and Derek Trucks to such legends as John Prine and Tony Joe White-The River and the Thread is a kaleidoscopic examination of the geographic, emotional, and historic landscape of the American South. The album's unique sound, which draws from country, blues, gospel, and rock, reflects the soulful mix of music that traces its history to the region.
Rosanne Cash acknowledges that, even with fifteen albums and four books behind her, it was difficult to start writing songs again after spending several years immersed in the masterful compositions featured on The List. You cannot keep that in your mind, except as an inspiration, a standard to aspire to, she says. To say, 'I'm going to write a song as great as Take These Chains'-you're not! So the only way to not get dismantled by that is to stay connected to your own muse, and immerse yourself completely in what you're doing so it can be as rich and authentic as it can possibly be. That's all you can hope for.
With The River and the Thread, she has risen to that challenge-and emerged with a beautiful and haunting album, one of the finest works in an extraordinary career.1. A Feather's Not A Bird
2. The Sunken Lands
3. Etta's Tune
4. Modern Blue
5. Tell Heaven
6. The Long Way Home
7. World Of Strange Design
8. Night School
9. 50,000 Watts
10. When The Master Calls The Roll
11. Money Road$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Shaka BunduThe remarkable story of South
African singer and dancer Penny
Penny is t for Hollywood. A
nearly homeless janitor without
formal education gets a record
deal, becomes a multi-platinum
selling pop star, plays
stadiums acrossAfrica, then
builds a career as a popular
politician for Nelson Mandela's
African National Congress
party. Penny Penny's debut
recording Shaka Bundu,
recorded in 1994, is the album
that launched a 34-year-old
Giyani Kulani Kobane from the
streets of Johannesburg to the
national political spotlight.
After a chance meeting with Tsonga disco producer Joe Shirimani, just six months
after apartheid was lifted, Penny Penny's Shaka Bundu was released and entered
the consciousness of the entire country. Penny Penny became an immediate
sensation, against the expectations of everyone involved. The album went on to
sell more than 250,000 copies in SouthAfrica and Penny Penny has played to
thousands on stadium stages from Liberia and Sierra Leone to Namibia and
Using anAtari computer, Korg M1 synthesizer and reel-to-reel tape for vocals,
Penny and Shirimani cut the entire record in just seven days. The music was
something new for Tsonga disco. Penny s sound was dominated by slow tempo
house rhythms rising and falling against his anthemic vocal exultations and steel
drum synth sounds. Variations on call-and-response singing with a female chorus
had been a characteristic of Tsonga music for generations and Penny adopted
and twisted that approach with his rap-like delivery. Penny s husky, playful vocal
performance is relatively light on lyrics and heavy on vibes. Shirimani
constructed a signature sound for Penny was a static bass line, the sound of
which contains the root tones of an organ but with a peculiar richness and
depth. The producer won't reveal the secret of his trademark sound.
Amidst all the success of subsequent albums and tours, Penny's passion grew
into working with the people back in his home province. Eventually, Penny got
into politics. In 2011, he was elected ward councillor for his region under the
African National Congress party banner.
Today, nearly 20 years since Shaka Bundu could be heard blasting from
speakers across a new SouthAfrica, the music still sounds larger than life and
worldly.And even today, despite shifting his energies from stadium shows to
municipal matters, Penny Penny still sports his inimitable top-bun hairstyle.1. Shichangani
3. Ndzihere Bhi
4. Dance Khomela
5. Shaka Bundu
7. Milandu Bhe
8. Shichangani (Remix)$23.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
African PianoSouth African pianist-composer Abdullah Ibrahim, still performing at the time of this 1969 live album under the pseudonym Dollar Brand, unleashed a mastery so enticing on African Piano, it's a wonder that any of the folks at the club where it was recorded had the resolve to treat it as background to their dining. By the same token, reinforcement of that fact by constant ambient noises renders Ibrahim's performance all the more sacred by contrast.
Amid a sea of chatter, cleared throats, and sudden intakes of breath, he breaks the surf with the gentle yet hip ostinato of "Bra Joe From Kilimanjaro," working meditative tendrils into the bar light. Over this his right hand brings about an explosive sort of thinking that spins webs in a flash and connects them to larger others. With clarion fortitude, he drops bluesy accents along the way: a trail of crumbs leading to "Selby That The Eternal Spirit Is The Only Reality." Ironically (or not), this is the most solemn blip on the album's radar and blends into the ivory tickling of "The Moon." Here Ibrahim's heartfelt, dedicatory spirit comes to the fore, proving that, while technically proficient, he possesses a descriptive virtuosity that indeed evokes a pockmarked surface lit in various phases, harnessing sunlight as if it were skin in dense, vibrating harvest. The kinesis of this tune is diffused in the tailwind of "Xaba," which then flows into "Sunset In Blue," in which Ibrahim's ancestral awareness is clearest. The level of respect evoked here for both the dead and the living lends a ritualistic quality by virtue of its tight structuring, which despite hooks at the margins flies freely in its magic circle. "Kippy" is a smoother reverie with flickers of flame. A beautiful amalgam of measures and means, it slips an opiate of reflection into its own drink. After this, the intense two minutes of gospel and downward spirals that is "Jabulani-Easter Joy" takes us into "Tintinyana," thereby crystallizing the album's flowing energies. Tracks bleed into one another: they runneth from the same cup, their spiritual resonance deep and true.
African Piano is a gorgeous, thickly settled album, but one that is always transparent when it comes to origins. Such is the tenderness of Ibrahim's craft, which speaks with a respect that transcends the sinews, muscles, and eardrums required to bring it to life. It finds joy in history, connecting to it like an Avatar's tail to steed.1. Bra Joe From Kilimanjaro
2. Selby That The Eternal Spirit Is The Only Reality
3. The Moon
5. Sunset In Blue
7. Jabulani Easter Joy
8. Tintiyana$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Second WinterIn 1969, with several albums already under his belt in a short time like The Progressive Blues Experiment, Johnny Winter headed down south to Nashville and recorded what many believe to be one of his finest albums to date, Second Winter. The album features the original line up of Johnny Winter (vocals/guitars) Edgar Winter (keys and saxophone), Tommy Shannon (bass) and Uncle John Turner (drums). This power quartet laid down some of the finest rock and roll and blues performances ever caught in a studio setting, as well as forever etching the name superstar to Johnny Winters career.
Always an avid audiophile and record collector himself, during the original recording sessions, Johnny believed that all the tracks would sound better if spread out over an extra side, instead of the traditional two sided LP, therefore creating the infamous and probably first three sided rock album in history! He summed it up perfectly We also really liked everything wed done and didnt want to leave any of the songs out. We couldnt honesty give you more, and we didnt want to give you less, so here is exactly what we did in Nashville, no more and no less.
Its no secret that Friday Music has been championing this acclaimed world class artist for years now with his own authorized and top blues charting Live Bootleg Series projects, as well as classic vinyl re-releases from the Columbia and Capitol Records vaults. It is now with great pleasure they announe the continuing Johnny Winter 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Series with his phenomenal earth shaking Second Winter album. Mastered from the original Columbia Records tapes by Joe Reagoso and Kevin Gray at RTI, this incredible limited edition album comes full circle now in its first time audiophile vinyl domain release.
All his greatest hits are here like Johnny B. Goode, Miss Ann, Fast Life Rider and of course his classic interpretation of Bob Dylans scorching Highway 61 Revisited. A visionary always with each and every one of his releases, Johnny Winter put his all into this album which showed an appreciation to his rock and roll heroes like Chuck Berry and Little Richard, his contemporaries like Bob Dylan, while also being a cultural icon in the psychedelic era solely with his Texan slide and unparalleled blues playing, an unforgettable rock voice, and a fan base that just keeps growing every day.
Fellow legend and brother Edgar Winter and the rest of the band truly excel throughout this entire album as well, on tunes sweltering blues workouts like Memory Pain, I Hate Everybody and the incredible jam Hustled Down In Texas.
Friday Music has also included the long out of print original gatefold album cover designed by Tony Lane, as well as the fine photography of Richard Avedon.LP1
1. Memory Pain
2. I'm Not Sure
3. The Good Love
4. Slippin And Slidin'
5. Miss Ann
6. Johnny B. Goode
7. Highway 61 Revisited
1. I Love Everybody
2. Hustled Down In Texas
3. I Hate Everybody
4. Fast Life Rider$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Buy Now
I Can't Stand The Rain (Pure Pleasure)
This wonderful album, originally released in 1974 on the Memphis-based Hi Records label, deserved a wider audience than it ended up getting at the time. It played to Ann Peebles' great strength, her poised and sultry voice, and surrounded by the sparse, easy funkiness of the trademark Hi rhythm section and producer Willie Mitchell's perfect use of horns and strings, she sings like a resilient but disappointed angel on this impressive set of songs about the darker side of love. Her best song is here, the eccentric but brilliant I Can't Stand the Rain, along with a marvelous version of Joe Simon's (You Keep Me) Hangin' On, and perfect readings of a pair of Earl Randle songs, If We Can't Trust Each Other and I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down. Peebles sings her heart out, and with those somehow bright-sounding Hi grooves behind her, it all comes together to make a classic album of dark, bouncy, and beautiful Southern soul.
- Ann Peebles (vocal)
- James Mitchell (bassoon)
- Jack Hale (trombone)
- Charles Hodges (keyboards)
- Archie Turner (piano)
- Leroy Hodges (bass)
- Howard Grimes (drums)
- Memphis Sanctified Singers (horn section)
Recording: 1973 at Royal Recording Studios, South Lauderdale, Memphis, Tennessee
Production: Willie Mitchell
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. I Can't Stand The Rain
2. Do I Need You?
3. Until You Came Into My Life
4. (You Keep Me) Hangin' On
5. Run, Run, Run
6. If We Can't Trust Each Other
7. A Love Vibration
8. You Got To Feed The Fire
9. I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down
10. One Way Street$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A Light That Never DiesOn his second album A Light That Never Dies which will be released in North America via Forty Below Records, KaiL Baxley has returned with a hard hitting, lush and beautifully haunting collection of songs. Co-produced with Producer/Engineer Eric Corne whose recording credits include Lucinda Williams, Glen Campbell, Kim Deal and John Mayall, the album was recorded over the last year in three different cities.
"We used a lot of really old gear on this one to capture that warm analog sound and preserve its truth," says KaiL about the album. "I'm proud of what Eric and I got out of the studio and I'm eager to get out on the road and share it with people."
Hailing from the small backwater town of Willison-Elko - a town so small that most people in South Carolina don't even know where it is, much less the rest of the world. It's only claim to fame is soul legend James Brown, with whom Baxley shared an unlikely friendship as a child. Perhaps this was one of the leading influences in Baxley's soul-drenched music or perhaps it was the similar circumstances in which they were raised that fuels such deep emotion in an individual.
Abandoned by both his mother and father as a small child Baxley was raised by his grandfather Woody until age 12. When he passed away, KaiL bounced from one living situation to another, rarely living in one place for more than a year at a time. It was in this constant migration that he found escape in a pair of old RCA headphones.
"It wasn't all bad really," he recalls. "I got to know quite a bit of music from all different genres during that time period. I'd stay with my uncle for a while and pick up some Van Morrison; my auntie gave me the Stones;friends parents turned me on to gospel. Then I discovered hiphop and it was all over. I was hooked."
This is the very apparent source of inspiration in KaiL Baxley's genre-bending music that also blends blues, indie rock, soul, gospel, and syncopated hiphop-style beats into a most exquisite and easily drinkable cocktail of sound - a sound that he has dubbed "Soul Swagger".
KaiL's debut effort, Heatstroke/The Wind and the War, was presented as a double EP which displayed the yin and yang of his musical range. A surprise nominee for NPR's Album Of The Year, it received critical acclaim, including a debut at SXSW, where Baxley was tapped as, "One of NPR's top new artists" by All Songs Considered.
"His voice falls somewhere between Joe Cocker and Bill Withers with a husky authority. The guy is a whiz-bang folkie-turned-soul-rocker and has a voice which can make you dance or which melts butter, depending upon the tune."
- Frank Gutch Jr. / Segarini1. Light That Never Dies
2. Mr. Downtown
3. Tell the Falling Sun
4. The Ballad of Johnny Steel
5. Morning Light
6. Better FeelN' Better Days
8. Still Wonder (Interlude)
9. Troubled Souls
10. Chasing James Dean
11. Mirrors of Paradise$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Columbia Years 1968-1969All Tracks Previously Unreleased (Except Track B5/8)
Production By Miles Davis & Teo Macero
Featuring Performances From Hugh Masekela, Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience), John Mclaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Harvey Brooks, Wayne Shorter, Billy Cox (Band Of Gypsys), Larry Young, And Members Of The Jazz Crusaders
Remastered From The Original Analog Master Tapes
New Interviews, Rare Photos, And Unseen Historical Documents From The Teo Macero Archive
One can hardly imagine Prince, Erykah Badu, or Outkast without the influence of Betty Davis. Her style of raw and revelatory punk-funk defies any notions that women can't be visionaries in the worlds of rock and pop. In recent years, rappers from Ice Cube to Talib Kweli have rhymed over her intensely strong but sensual music. Betty penned the song ''Uptown'' for The Chambers Brothers and wrote the tunes that got The Commodores signed to Motown. The Detroit label soon came calling, pitching a Motown songwriting deal, which Betty turned down. Motown wanted to own everything. Heading to the UK, Marc Bolan of T. Rex urged the creative dynamo to start writing for herself. A common thread throughout Betty's career would be her unbending DIY ethic, which made her quickly turn down anyone who didn't fit with the vision. She would eventually say no to Eric Clapton as her album producer, seeing him as too banal. In 1968, she married Miles Davis and quickly influenced him on the magic of psychedelic rock along with introducing him to Jimi Hendrix-personally inspiring the classic album, Bitches Brew.
Miles and Betty fans have long debated the truth of a near mythological session recorded in Studios B and E at Columbia's 52nd Street Studios on May 14th and 20th, 1969. The landmark session was produced by Miles and Teo Macero and featured Betty on vocals, accompanied by Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, guitarist John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock on keys, and Dylan/Miles session bassist Harvey Brooks. Other players included bassist Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys), saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and organist Larry Young. Now, Light In The Attic, with full support from Betty herself, presents these recordings to the public for the very first time. These historic sessions-never heard, never bootlegged-predate Miles' revolutionary album, Bitches Brew, and are the true birth of Miles' jazz-rock explorations, along with the roots for Betty's groundbreaking funk that came years later, starting with her self-titled debut in 1973. While, ultimately, these recordings would go unreleased for nearly half a century, they would greatly shape each of their careers.
The vibe is intrinsically unique, fresh, and futuristic-jazz heavyweights playing psychedelia, rock, and jazz-fusion long before the term became commonplace. The songs include Betty originals and covers of classics by Creedence and Cream. The concepts explored on these previously unheard sessions fueled concepts that wouldn't be fully realized until years later with Miles' seminal On The Corner.
Additionally, included here is the first time rerelease of a 1968 Columbia single, recorded in October 1968 at Columbia Studios in Los Angeles. The session was produced by Jerry Fuller and featured South African maverick Hugh Masekela on trumpet and arrangements, plus members of jazz-funk pioneers The Crusaders-including trombonist Wayne Henderson and pianist Joe Sample. Two of the three tracks included here from this session are previously unreleased.
This deluxe package is a treasure trove for both Betty and Miles fans, including rare documents from the pen of co-producer Teo Macero, rarely seen photos from legendary photographer Baron Wolman, and new interviews with Mrs. Davis herself, Harvey Brooks, and Hugh Masekela-the entire project overseen with Betty's full blessing.1. Hangin' Out
2. Politician Man
3. Down Home Girl
4. Born On The Bayou
5. I'm Ready, Willing & Able (Take 1)
6. I'm Ready, Willing & Able (Take 9)
7. It's My Life (Alternate Take)
8. Live, Love, Learn
9. My Soul Is Tired$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Silent Reign Of Heroes (Awaiting Repress)This Lynyrd Skynyrd-style, blues rock outfit emerged from the US deep south. The name derived from a tale of a woman in seventeenth-century Salem who beheaded her lovers with an axe after sleeping with them. The initial line-up comprised Dave Hlubek (guitar), Steve Holland (guitar), Duane Roland (guitar), Banner Thomas (bass), Danny Joe Brown (vocals) and Bruce Crump (drums). Their 1978 debut album, produced by Tom Werman (of Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent fame), was an instant success, with its three-pronged guitar onslaught and gut-wrenching vocals. The band then achieved a US Top 20 placing with their second album, Flirtin` With Disaster. Brown was replaced by Jimmy Farrar in 1980, before the recording of the band`s third album, Beatin` The Odds. Farrar`s vocals were less distinctive than Brown`s, and an element of their identity was lost during the time that Farrar fronted the band. Nevertheless, commercial success continued, with both Beatin` The Odds and Take No Prisoners peaking on the Billboard album chart at numbers 25 and 36, respectively. In 1982, Danny Joe Brown rejoined the band in place of the departed Farrar, while Thomas and Crump were replaced by Riff West and B.B. Borden respectively. No Guts ... No Glory emerged and marked a return to the band`s roots: explosive guitar duels, heart-stopping vocals and steadfast rock `n` roll. Surprisingly, the album flopped and Hlubek insisted on a radical change in direction. Steve Holland quit and drummer Crump returned, while keyboard player John Galvin (from the Danny Joe Brown Band) was recruited for the recording of The Deed Is Done. This was a lightweight pop rock album, largely devoid of Molly Hatchet`s former trademarks. Following its release, the band retired temporarily to lick their wounds and reassess their future. In 1985, Double Trouble Live was unveiled, with a return to former styles. It included versions of their best-known songs, plus a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute in the form of `Freebird`. Founder member Dave Hlubek subsequently departed, to be replaced by Bobby Ingram. The band signed a new recording contract with Capitol Records and returned with 1989`s Lightning Strikes Twice. This leaned away from their southern roots towards highly polished AOR. Featuring cover versions of Paul Stanley`s `Hide Your Heart` and `There Goes The Neighborhood`, the album was poorly received by fans and critics alike. A number of line-up changes ensued in the early 90s, leaving Brown as the only remaining original member. During this period he was continually plagued by illness as a result of diabetes. and eventually left Molly Hatchet in 1996 as they embarked on another recording comeback. The line-up that recorded Devil`s Canyon comprised Bobby Ingram, John Galvin, Phil McCormack (vocals), Bryan Bassett (guitar), Andy McKinney (bass) and Mac Crawford (drums). The revived band, with additional keyboard player Tim Donovan, then completed 1998`s Silent Reign Of Heroes. Further line-up changes saw mainstays Ingram, Galvin and McCormack joined by a regularly rotating cast list of musicians, as the band continued to tour and record with great success. Original guitarist Hlubek rejoined the line-up in early 2005 shortly before his former colleague Danny Joe Brown succumbed to diabetes.
1. Mississippi Moon Dog
2. World of Trouble
3. Silent Reign of Heroes
4. Miss Saturday Night
5. Blue Thunder
6. Just Remember (You're the Only One)
7. Junk Yard Dawg
8. Dead and Gone (Redneck Song)
9. Saddle Tramp
10. Fall of the Peacemakers
11. Whiskey Man
12. One Man's Pleasure$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Kingdom Of XIIThis Lynyrd Skynyrd-style, blues rock outfit emerged from the US deep south. The name derived from a tale of a woman in seventeenth-century Salem who beheaded her lovers with an axe after sleeping with them. The initial line-up comprised Dave Hlubek (guitar), Steve Holland (guitar), Duane Roland (guitar), Banner Thomas (bass), Danny Joe Brown (vocals) and Bruce Crump (drums). Their 1978 debut album, produced by Tom Werman (of Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent fame), was an instant success, with its three-pronged guitar onslaught and gut-wrenching vocals. The band then achieved a US Top 20 placing with their second album, Flirtin` With Disaster. Brown was replaced by Jimmy Farrar in 1980, before the recording of the band`s third album, Beatin` The Odds. Farrar`s vocals were less distinctive than Brown`s, and an element of their identity was lost during the time that Farrar fronted the band. Nevertheless, commercial success continued, with both Beatin` The Odds and Take No Prisoners peaking on the Billboard album chart at numbers 25 and 36, respectively. In 1982, Danny Joe Brown rejoined the band in place of the departed Farrar, while Thomas and Crump were replaced by Riff West and B.B. Borden respectively. No Guts ... No Glory emerged and marked a return to the band`s roots: explosive guitar duels, heart-stopping vocals and steadfast rock `n` roll. Surprisingly, the album flopped and Hlubek insisted on a radical change in direction. Steve Holland quit and drummer Crump returned, while keyboard player John Galvin (from the Danny Joe Brown Band) was recruited for the recording of The Deed Is Done. This was a lightweight pop rock album, largely devoid of Molly Hatchet`s former trademarks. Following its release, the band retired temporarily to lick their wounds and reassess their future. In 1985, Double Trouble Live was unveiled, with a return to former styles. It included versions of their best-known songs, plus a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute in the form of `Freebird`. Founder member Dave Hlubek subsequently departed, to be replaced by Bobby Ingram. The band signed a new recording contract with Capitol Records and returned with 1989`s Lightning Strikes Twice. This leaned away from their southern roots towards highly polished AOR. Featuring cover versions of Paul Stanley`s `Hide Your Heart` and `There Goes The Neighborhood`, the album was poorly received by fans and critics alike. A number of line-up changes ensued in the early 90s, leaving Brown as the only remaining original member. During this period he was continually plagued by illness as a result of diabetes. and eventually left Molly Hatchet in 1996 as they embarked on another recording comeback. The line-up that recorded Devil`s Canyon comprised Bobby Ingram, John Galvin, Phil McCormack (vocals), Bryan Bassett (guitar), Andy McKinney (bass) and Mac Crawford (drums). The revived band, with additional keyboard player Tim Donovan, then completed 1998`s Silent Reign Of Heroes. Further line-up changes saw mainstays Ingram, Galvin and McCormack joined by a regularly rotating cast list of musicians, as the band continued to tour and record with great success. Original guitarist Hlubek rejoined the line-up in early 2005 shortly before his former colleague Danny Joe Brown succumbed to diabetes.1. Heart of the U.S.A.
2. Cornbread Mafia
3. One Last Ride
4. Why Won't You Take Me Home
5. Turn My Back on Yesterday
6. Gypsy Trail
7. White Lightning
8. Tumbling Dice
9. Angel in Dixie
10. Kickstart to Freedom
11. Dreams of Life
12. Edge of Sundown
13. Bounty Hunter$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Porcupine MeatNaming one's album after a song titled "Porcupine Meat" may seem a little unusual - unless, of course, you're Bobby Rush, who earned his first gold record in 1971 with a hit entitled "Chicken Heads." He elaborates on his recent composition: "If a lady won't treat me right, but she doesn't want anyone else to have me, that is hard to digest." Hence the lyric, "too fat to eat, too lean to throw away."
Porcupine Meat is Rush's debut release for Rounder Records, and one of the best recordings of his astonishing 60-plus year career. The album is due out September 16, 2016.
Rush estimates that he has cut over 300 songs since he first began making music. He has been honored with three Grammy nominations, as well as ten Blues Music Awards and 41 nominations. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2006.
Make no mistake: Rush is not your typical octogenarian. At age 82, he exudes the energy of a 20-year-old, on the road for more than 200 dates a year. His hectic tour schedule has earned him the affectionate title King of the Chitlin' Circuit. Rush has traveled the globe including Japan and Beirut. In 2007, he earned the distinction of being the first blues artist to play at the Great Wall of China. His renowned stage act features his famed shake dancers, who personify his funky blues and the ribald humor that he has cultivated during the course of his storied career.
Born Emmet Ellis, Jr. in Homer, Louisiana, he adopted the stage name Bobby Rush out of respect for his father, a pastor. According to Rush, his parents never talked about the blues being the devil's music. "My daddy never told me to sing the blues, but he also didn't tell me to not sing the blues. I took that as a green light."
Rush built his first guitar when he was a youngster. "I didn't know where to buy one, even if I had the money. I was a country boy," he says. After seeing a picture of a guitar in a magazine, he decided to make one by attaching the top wire of a broom to a wall and fretting it with a bottle. He also got some harmonica lessons from his father He eventually acquired a real guitar, and started playing in juke joints as a teenager, when his family briefly relocated to Little Rock, Arkansas. The fake moustache Rush wore made club owners believe he was old enough to gain entry into their establishments. While he was living in Little Rock, Rush's band, which featured Elmore James, had a residency at a nightspot called Jackrabbit.
During the mid-1950s, Rush relocated to Chicago to pursue his musical career and make a better life for himself. It was there that he started to work with Earl Hooker, Luther Allison, and Freddie King, and sat in with many of his musical heroes, such as Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, and Little Walter. Rush eventually began leading his own band in the 1960s. He also started to craft his own distinct style of funky blues, and recorded a succession of singles for a various small labels. It wasn't until the early 1970s that Rush finally scored a hit with "Chicken Heads." More recordings followed, including an album for Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International Label.
Rush relocated one final time, to Jackson, Miss. in the early 1980s. He was tired of the cold up north, and he realized that setting up his base of operations directly in the center of the South would make it easier to perform in nearby cities on weekends. More indie label recordings followed. Songs like "Sue, A Man Can Give (But He Sure Can't Take It)," "What's Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander Too," and" I Ain't Studdin' You" became regional jukebox favorites in juke joints throughout the region, and many of those songs are still fan favorites that are an integral part of his live repertoire.
Since 2003, Rush has self-released the majority of his work (including the critically acclaimed Folk Funk album) on his Deep Rush label, but recently, he came to the realization that having a bigger record company behind him would be beneficial. "I outgrew myself," he says. "I need someone to help in doing the things I can't do. When you are wearing all the hats, you can't be everywhere at once."
Enter esteemed producer and two-time Grammy winner Scott Billington, Rounder Records' longtime VP of A&R. Billington first met Rush at a Recording Academy meeting 25 years ago, and they became fast friends. He has wanted to work with Rush ever since. "He is the most vital bluesman of his generation," says Billington. He continues, "There are many people who still don't know Bobby Rush, even though he is a hero in the parallel universe of the Chitlin' Circuit - fans stop him on the street in Memphis and Helena and Little Rock."
Porcupine Meat will not only please Rush's older fans, but is likely to win over many new ones. Billington reflects, "We wanted to come up with something fresh, while staying 100% true to Bobby."
The album was recorded in New Orleans, and Rush was pleased and proud to be given the opportunity to make an album in his home state for the very first time. His impassioned vocals and in-the-pocket harmonica playing are among the best performances of his career. Unlike most of his recent releases, these sessions only feature real instruments and no synthesizers. All of the rhythm tracks were cut live in the studio, often edited down from jams that on several occasions ran close to ten minutes.
For the project, Billington assembled some of the best Louisiana musicians, including Shane Theriot, David Torkanowsky, Jeffrey "Jellybean" Alexander, Kirk Joseph, Cornell Williams, and others. Rush brought along his old friend and longtime collaborator, guitarist Vasti Jackson, who worked with Bobby and Scott on getting the songs ready for the studio. Guitar greats Dave Alvin, Keb' Mo', and Joe Bonamassa all make guest appearances on the album.
Rush has always been a prolific and clever songwriter. The songs he penned for Porcupine Meat such as "Dress Too Short," "I Don't Want Nobody Hanging Around," "Me, Myself And I," "Nighttime Gardener," "It's Your Move," and the title selection, all equal or rival his best material. "Funk O' De Funk" delivers exactly what the title suggests and what Rush has always done the best, which is putting the funk into the blues. While "Got Me Accused" is inspired by events from Rush's own life, the lyrics tell an all-too-familiar tale about the rampant racial injustice that afflicts our society. Producer Billington and his wife Johnette Downing (the well known New Orleans songwriter and children's musician) co-wrote a couple of fine selections, "Catfish Stew" and "Snake In The Grass."
Bobby Rush is the greatest bluesman currently performing. Porcupine Meat is a testament to his brilliance, which presents him at his very best, and doesn't try to be anything that he is not. "I just try to record good music and stories," he humbly states. With this recording, he has more than accomplished his goal, and has produced one of the finest contemporary blues albums in recent times.1. I Don't Want Nobody Hanging Around
2. Porcupine Meat
3. Got Me Accused
4. Snake in the Grass
5. Funk O' De Funk
6. Me, Myself and I (feat. Joe Bonamassa)
7. Catfish Stew
8. It's Your Move (feat. Dave Alvin)
9. Nighttime Gardener (feat. Keb Mo)
10. I Think Your Dress Is Too Short
11. Standing on Shaky Ground
12. I'm Tired (Tangle Eye Mix)$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Open BookFred Hersch has long been acclaimed as an exploratory artist, an outspoken activist, an influential educator and a uniquely revelatory and lyrical pianist. As one of the most expressive voices in modern jazz, Hersch has never been shy about letting listeners glimpse his most intimate thoughts and emotions. In September, however, Hersch's fans will be treated to even deeper, more revealing insights into the story of the renowned pianist when he publishes his much-anticipated memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz. As a companion piece, Hersch decided to present an equally direct and vulnerable glimpse into his private musical thoughts with his 11th solo release, Open Book.
The seven pieces on Open Book (set for release via Palmetto Records) offer some of the finest, most unguardedly emotional solo music that Hersch has created in a career unique for its profound poignancy and passion. Recorded in a South Korean concert hall on a superb Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano, the album captures the vital essence of the revelatory adventurousness and intense beauty that have made Hersch one of the most important solo artists in jazz. With more than 40 albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, Hersch remarkably continues to discover new areas of inspiration and depths of feeling.
For the last two and a half decades I've been pretty open about who I am, what I like and what I'm dealing with at times, Hersch says. But I've always got to dig deeper, and I thought this might be a chance to make an album that's a window into the kinds of things that I play at home or don't play in public all that much.
The album arrives during a momentous month for Hersch. On September 12, the esteemed publishers Crown Archetype (Penguin Random House) will release Good Things Happen Slowly, Hersch's bravely confessional memoir. The book covers the pianist's meteoric rise in jazz from his sideman days alongside masters like Art Farmer and Joe Henderson to his gradual recognition as one of the most individualistic and innovative artists of his generation, a ten-time Grammy Award nominee and winner of countless accolades including being named a 2016 Doris Duke Artist as well as the same year's Jazz Journalists Association Pianist of the Year. But it also frankly reveals his story as the first openly gay, HIV-positive jazz musician, tracing his path through hedonistic post-Stonewall New York City to the dramatic two-month medically induced coma in 2007 from which he emerged to make some of the most stunning and captivating music of his career.
Later that month Hersch will reprise his ambitious Leaves of Grass full-evening piece at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room, the first time the song cycle has been performed in New York City since 2005. Vocalists Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry will reprise their roles from the original project, which sets the verse of American bard Walt Whitman. The legendary poet's timeless ode to the miracle of nature and openhearted love of all beings seems especially vital in our present socio-political moment.
The centerpiece of Open Book, and the spark that ignited the album, is the nearly 20-minute improvisation Through the Forest. Unique in Hersch's extensive discography, the stream-of-consciousness gem is a miniature masterpiece of narrative development, a compelling journey through an abstract, glimmering landscape, revealing that in his early 60s Hersch continues to take creative risks and daunting inventive leaps.
The creation of Through the Forest was as unplanned and spontaneous as the music itself. In Seoul for a pair of solo concerts during a break in a tour of Asia with his esteemed trio, Hersch overslept during an after-breakfast nap and rushed to take the stage at JCC Art Center Concert Hall for his afternoon performance. The titular forest is, in part, a jetlag and coffee-fueled dreamscape through which Hersch wanders, applying his vivid powers of observation to unusual terrain. I was a little groggy, my defenses were down, and rather than fight it I just gave in to it, Hersch recalls. I'd never really done anything of that length in public where I had no agenda and was able to stay in that zone for such an extended period of time. I realized it was something special, something different that might be the core of an album.
Through the Forest became the leaping-off point for an album intended to be singularly divulgent and reflective. A few months later, Hersch returned to the same hall and recorded the remainder of Open Book alone in the empty venue (with the exception of Benny Golson's classic Whisper Not, taken from a concert during that return engagement).
The album opens with the stark musings of The Orb, taken from Hersch's autobiographical music-theater piece My Coma Dreams. A love letter to Hersch's longtime partner, AIDS activist Scott Morgan, The Orb is the final dream depicted in the show, and in this solo rendition becomes a nakedly heartfelt outpouring of raw but tender emotion. The mood then takes a turn for the playful and swinging on Whisper Not, a longtime staple of Hersch's repertoire that here becomes a vibrant, virtuoso marathon of thematic exploration.
The piece also serves as an ideal mirror to the album's other composition from the pen of a jazz icon, Thelonious Monk's Eronel. Hersch has long been recognized as one of the premier interpreters of the Monk songbook, but despite including one of the iconic composer's pieces in every one of his sets for most of his career, Hersch had never tackled this particular tune, co-written by pianist Sadik Hakim. Monk's original stride-inflected lines come in for a dizzying array of variations in Hersch's endlessly imaginative take.
The music of Brazil has also been a constant in Hersch's career, in particular the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, the subject of one of the pianist's earlier solo efforts, 2009's Fred Hersch Plays Jobim. Picture in Black and White is a new addition to that repertoire, majestically transformed from a bossa nova feel to a crystalline hybrid with Chopin's last nocturne. On the other side of Through the Forest in the album's symmetrical structure comes Hersch's own classical-flavored Plainsong, a spare, lyrical piece composed in the bucolic setting of the MacDowell Colony, the inspirational artists' retreat in rural New Hampshire.
Open Book ends on a meaningful ellipsis, Billy Joel's moving And So It Goes. In title alone it's an apt conclusion, suggesting an embrace of life as lived and hinting at its open-ended continuation. The full lyrics, which Hersch has performed in duo settings with singers including frequent collaborator Kate McGarry, remain unspoken here but obviously deeply felt in every note. I connect with the sentiment of the words, Hersch says, and it felt like a good benediction to the whole album.1. The Orb
2. Whisper Not
4. Through The Forest
7. And So It Goes$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A Natural, Acoustic Portrait of American Folk, Country, and Bluegrass Standards by Two Virtuosos: Jerry Garcia and David Grisman's Shady Grove Filled with Endearing Joy and Spirited Playing
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes and Strictly Limited to 3,000 Numbered Copies: Mobile Fidelity 180g 2LP Set Sounds Incredibly Realistic, Features Deluxe Booklet in Gatefold Jacket
Jerry Garcia began recording with longtime friend David Grisman at the beginning of the last decade of his life, the refreshing excursions marking a full-circle return to the roots fare the white-bearded virtuoso originally performed before co-founding the Grateful Dead. Garcia's dalliances with Grisman also served another equally important purpose given they provided a much-needed outlet from the demanding pressures, schedules, and business affairs associated with his main band. The endearing joy, contagious enthusiasm, and free-spirited playing on Shady Grove attest to the collection serving as not only the finest musical snapshot of Garcia's final years, but among the best of his storied career.
Mastered from the original master tapes, available on vinyl for the first time, and strictly limited to 3,000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 2LP set presents the 1996 collection in exquisite sound. Originally recorded at Dawg Studios between August 1990 and June 1993, Shady Grove bowed as the first release of Grisman-Garcia collaborations in the wake of the iconic guitarist's August 1995 death - and remains, by way of its genre-specific organization, a passionate albeit naturally relaxed portrait of folk, country, and bluegrass standards that provide the foundation of American songbook. To experience it all in such brilliant fidelity is to pull up a chair at the sessions themselves and enjoy a transparent view into lasting tradition and instrumental virtuosity.
Entirely unplugged, the material emerges in three-dimensional detail on this very special audiophile pressing, the wooden tones and organic textures unfolding with wondrous openness, ease, and realism. Nothing is forced, brittle, or exaggerated. What you hear is on par with the acoustics you'd encounter at a world-class hall. Garcia and Grisman's clean, rustic picking on guitar, banjo, mandola, and mandolin harbors a rare intimacy mirrored by an equally uncommon chemistry evident by the seamless interplay.
These traits remain in tact even when the soul mates are occasionally joined by pals such as Jim Kerwin (acoustic bass) and Joe Craven (fiddle and percussion). Garcia's singing, replete with the slight, graceful, dignified shakiness that forever defined his deliveries, comes across with utmost purity and transparency. Emotions and eagerness pour over every note. At the end of several tracks, Garcia and company exchange remarks and laughter - all indicative of the camaraderie, looseness, and spirit that carries through each tune here.
Mobile Fidelity's audiophile edition of Shady Grove also features the kind of deluxe packaging only the best physical media can provide. Sixteen 12-inch x 12-inch pages bound to the gatefold jacket provide extraordinary insight into the songs, atmosphere, and history. Images of artifacts and telling photos serve as a visual guide. New Lost City Ramblers member John Cohen pens extensive liner notes that reveal the lasting importance and timelessness of the tunes herein. Among his observations:
Jerry and David's performances of these traditional folk songs and ballads reconnect us all - folk singers, Deadheads, university students, hillbillies, country and western musicians - with the America [poet Kenneth] Rexroth wrote about; that [Carl] Sandburg wrote about; that the cynicism of American wars and politics, culture wars and culture politics just couldn't destroy.
Indeed, the versions of barn-dance tunes (Shady Grove), jug-band standards (Stealin', also performed in the early days of the Grateful Dead), Delta ballads (Louis Collins), Civil War era fare (The Sweet Sunny South), and campfire songs (Down in the Valley) here astound with depth, soulfulness, and warmth. Deadheads will also find Garcia and Grisman putting a spin on two more tracks - Casey Jones and Jackaroo - long part of the iconic group's repertoire. In countless ways, Shady Grove is not to be missed, particularly on this unsurpassed pressing.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Shady Grove
3. Off to Sea Once More
4. The Sweet Sunny South
5. Louis Collins
6. Fair Ellender
8. The Ballad of Casey Jones
9. Dreadful Wind and Rain
10. I Truly Understand
11. The Handsome Cabin Boy
12. Whiskey in the Jar
13. Down in the Valley
14. Hesitation Blues$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Ride (Out of Stock)Produced by Wayne and his longtime producer/collaborator Lloyd Maines (Uncle Tupelo,
Wilco, Dixie Chicks, Joe Ely), Ride further cements Wayne's life-long calling ["All I want to do is play the Joints 'til the day I die"] as a modernday traditionalist through his signature mÉlange of roadhouse blues, hepcat boogie, rockabilly,
and juke joint swing. As Hank III once said, "Wayne
Hancock has more Hank Sr. in him than either I or Hank Williams Jr. He is the real deal."
Ride is built on a vibe that is at once more direct and personal than those of his previous Bloodshot releases Viper of Melody (2009), Tulsa (2006),
Swing Time (2003), and A-Town Blues (2001). "The
album is an organic reaction to life's challenges ... these are not sad songs," the South TX native
said of his 8th overall album and 5th for Bloodshot.1. Ride
2. Low Down Blues
3. Best To Be Alone
4. Lone Road Home
5. Get The Blues Low Down
6. Deal Gone Down
7. Fair Weather Blues
8. Home With My Baby
9. Gal From Kitchen's Field
10. Cappuccino Boogie
11. Any Old Time$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock