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Pushin' Against A StoneConcord Records is proud to present vocalist/musician and Tennessee native Valerie June and her debut project, Pushin' Against a Stone. The album has already received significant buzz with its recent European release, where it's earning critical and commercial success by reaching #1 on both the UK
Indie Breakers Chart and the French FNAC Independent Chart. And now, amid all this international hype, she is primed to make a splash here in the
States as well!
Valerie June is truly one of the most unique and fascinating talents to hit the music scene in recent time. This is her highly anticipated debut release.
Valerie's voice is one of distinction that effortlessly shifts between eras and genres, transporting you to another world the moment she begins to sing.
Produced by the acclaimed Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe, Florence + The Machine), Dan Auerbach and Peter Sabak. Features an all-star cast of musicians, including Booker T, Jimbo Mathus and more.1. Workin' Woman Blues
2. Somebody To Love
3. The Hour
4. Twined and Twisted
5. Wanna Be On Your Mind
6. Tennessee Time
7. Pushin' Against a Stone
8. Trials, Troubles, Tribulations
9. You Can't Be Told
11. On My Way$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Love and PovertyStrange Faith is a new collaboration from country soul singer - songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols and producer Benedic
Lamdin, acclaimed for his Nostalgia 77 project alongside work with the likes of Prince Fatty, Valerie June and Jamie Cullum. A rich and vibrant, jazz-inflected twist on the trademark sound that has seen Nichols crowned The High priest of country cool by Rolling Stone.1. Sun Gone West
2. Hard Work In (Good Lovin Out)
3. Fair Weather
4. Just A Man
5. My Old Friend
7. Walking Over
8. Just A Few Feet From The Gutter
9. Tell Me Why
10. Sweetest Sweetheart
11. Say Thank You$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Order Of TimeValerie June's highly anticipated second album, The Order of Time, is set for release via Concord Records. On this enthralling and illuminating leap forward, the Tennessee-bred, Brooklyn-based songwriter weaves electric blues, African rhythms, cosmic atmospherics and delicate soul into an inventive and wholly original rumination on love, family, struggle and the passing of time. Produced by Matt Marinelli (Bad Brains), The Order of Time features twelve original songs all written by June.
Musically, June has refined and expanded her sound on the new album finding space from her previous work in its artful, self-assured restraint and overall cohesion. The collection's finely sketched character studies brim with richness and detail while June's ethereal, wide-open soundscapes provide a sterling backdrop for her remarkable Southern gospel and honey voice. Lyrical touch points such as 'dancing shadows,' 'hot suppers,' 'curious neighbors,' and 'holy water' draw the listener in and root these songs with density and weight.
The "inevitability of change" and "time as the ruler of Earth's rhythm," is the album's foundation, explains June. "And the knowledge that with resilience and faith things can work out."
"Long Lonely Road" is a reflective and somber lament as June's voice reverberates over ringing guitar and unhurried drums, whereas the entrancing blues of "If And" internalizes regret in the face of time's relentless churn. On the spiritual "Astral Plane," June's mystical vocal takes an otherworldly turn, whereas the sumptuous string arrangement on "With You," is reminiscent of Nico's most affecting work. Norah Jones adds her distinctive vocals to three tracks and "Shake Down" sparkles with background vocal contributions from her father, Emerson Hockett and brothers, Patrick and Jason Hockett.
The Order of Time follows June's 2013 breakout LP, Pushin' Against a Stone that established her as one of America's "most intriguing, fully formed new talents" according to the New York Times. She garnered praise from NPR, "a singular performer" and New York Magazine, "a powerful singer and a blunt, bruising songwriter." June also made memorable appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, CBS Saturday Morning, Rachael Ray, and Austin City Limits. She has toured with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and Sturgill Simpson, and performed at Newport Folk Festival, Carnegie Hall, and much more.1. Long Lonely Road
2. Love You Once Made
3. Shake Down
4. If And
5. Man Done Wrong
6. The Front Door
7. Astral Plane
8. Just In Time
9. With You
10. Slip Slide On By
11. Two Hearts
12. Got Soul$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Livin' On A High NoteMavis Staples has been a soul and gospel music legend for more than 50 years. Her work fronting the legendary Staples Singers defined the sound of politically-committed soul and influenced generations of musicians. As a solo artist in her own right she has helped to define much of what is righteous and soulful in American music.
With Livin' On A High Note, Mavis Staples has delivered the most joyful and uplifting record of her career. 12 original songs written exclusively for Mavis by some of the finest songwriters of our time including M .Ward, Ben Harper, Valerie June, Neko Case, tune-yards, Nick Cave, John Baptiste, Justin Vernon, Aloe Blacc, and more.1. Take Us Back
2. Love And Trust
3. If It's A Light
5. High Note
6. Don't Cry
9. History Now
10. One Love
11. Jesus Lay Down Beside Me
12. MLK Song$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Prokofiev For Two (Pre-Order)Release Date: June 29, 2018*
Pianists Martha Argerich and Sergei Babayan have recorded two selections from Prokofiev's music for stage and screen in magnificent two-piano transcriptions by Babayan. Prokofiev for Two, set for release worldwide via Deutsche Grammophon, captures for posterity the sense of mutual inspiration felt by these kindred spirits, palpable in their live performances together. The album features Babayan's twelve-movement transcription of numbers from the ballet Romeo and Juliet and his seven-movement suite transcribed from Prokofiev's incidental music for Hamlet and Eugene Onegin, film score for The Queen of Spades and opera War and Peace.
Martha Argerich and Sergei Babayan first met in Brussels in 1991 when, on a whim, he looked her up in the phonebook and, to his own surprise, found her name and telephone number listed. His call from a phone box in the city started a strong friendship that led to numerous joint appearances in Europe and America. After one performance of Rachmaninov's "Suite No.2" and other works for two pianos, Babayan told Argerich of his dream to transcribe pieces from Romeo and Juliet for their next duo date. "She was very inspired by the idea," he recalls. "It was the greatest pleasure - and an honor - to create something that we would play together." Babayan's take on Prokofiev, coupled with a suite of rarities from the composer's stage and film music, can be heard in Prokofiev for Two.
The freshly transcribed Prokofiev score received its premiere performance as part of the Martha Argerich Project at the 2013 Lugano Festival. Argerich and Babayan have since performed this work together with the revised Romeo and Juliet suite several times, most recently in concert at Stuttgart's Liederhalle last November.
Martha Argerich is already renowned for her interpretations of Prokofiev's music. The Argentine-born artist, hailed as one of the greatest pianists of all time, included the composer's turbulent "Toccata" in her Deutsche Grammophon recital debut album, recorded in 1960. She reinforced her international reputation seven years later with a landmark recording for the yellow label of Prokofiev's "Third Piano Concerto" with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Claudio Abbado. "I have loved Prokofiev ever since I can recall," notes Argerich. "And people think he loves me too sometimes! I love the way Sergei [Babayan] plays Prokofiev and many other things. The first solo recital of his I heard was Bach's Goldberg Variations and I was incredibly impressed by it. I very much liked his proposal that we should play his transcription of Romeo and Juliet and feel very honored that he dedicated it to me."
Babayan's love for Prokofiev, like Argerich's, is deeply rooted, dating back to his childhood in Armenia and student days at the Moscow Conservatoire. Having left the USSR for the first time in 1989, he settled in the U.S. Time and again, Babayan has paid tribute to Prokofiev, playing several of his piano concertos with Valery Gergiev including at the 2015 BBC Proms in a monumental concert with the London Symphony Orchestra featuring all five of the works.
His new Prokofiev transcriptions are both dedicated to Martha Argerich. "This project happened because of my love for Prokofiev, my love for Martha and my love for the ballet Romeo and Juliet," reflects Babayan. The idea of transcribing Romeo and Juliet first arose decades ago while he was studying Prokofiev's colorful instrumentation in close detail with an orchestra. Already aware of Argerich's playing, he was further inspired after hearing a pirate recording of her 1981 Carnegie Hall performance of the "Ten Pieces Op.75" from Romeo and Juliet. "I listened and was immediately drawn to learn the cycle. But I felt that Prokofiev used chamber-like numbers for his selection of music for his transcription for solo piano. If you first became acquainted with the ballet through this piano score, you would never guess or understand the whole tragic, violent, and dark nature of the original work. Of course, the ballet contains lyrical, romantic music; music filled with humor and dance movement. But it also contains music for the "Death of Tybalt" - music of love and hate."
Believing it would be impossible for music of such powerful emotion to be conveyed by two hands, and aware of Prokofiev's own fondness for transcription, Babayan felt driven to exploit the full expressive force and tonal richness of two pianos. His created version contains what Martha Argerich, with a wry laugh, calls "difficult and demanding" technical and musical challenges. Both musicians, however, agree that transcription is "an act of love" and Babayan's experience with Romeo and Juliet soon led him to explore some of the composer's lesser-known works and create the second suite on this album. As he points out, this music will be new to most listeners. For example, only fragments of the film score for The Queen of Spades have ever been performed or recorded. He underlines its imaginative and innovative qualities, adding, "I'm sure if Prokofiev had lived longer he would have used the material for The Queen of Spades for a new movie, symphony, quartet or maybe even a piano duo. This music stayed on the shelf and it was my luck to hear it."
Prokofiev for Two is driven by the passion and power of an ideal keyboard partnership. Martha Argerich considers playing in duo with Babayan to be "a thing of alchemy - a discovery". For his part, Babayan says the experience of performing with Argerich is like joining a conversation with a divine being, one in which "you cannot be mundane or ordinary ... Martha will somehow pull out the best from you."
*Please note that release dates are subject to change.$35.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now