Written by: Kevin Brennan
Harken back to 1987 when blues was experiencing a revival of sorts. On FM radio, you could hear new music from Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Mason Ruffner, Johnny Winter and others as they fit nicely alongside of what was to become classic rock. The door was open and Robert Cray was walking on through.
Cray had five albums under his belt by this time, including an acclaimed live collaboration with Johnny Copeland and Albert Collins called Showdown! which was released on Alligator Records, the home for dozens of legendary and otherwise blues artists.
His most recent work at this point was 1986’s Strong Persuader, a breakout piece that featured two songs destined to become staples of the Cray catalog: “Smokin’ Gun” and “Right Next Door (Because of Me).” Cray was riding a wave of popularity that cemented his career and enabled him to release 14 more albums over the next 25 years with no foreseeable end in sight.
Can you remember what you were doing on April 26, 1987? Me neither, so at least this gives us some perspective. Get your blues hat on and head down to the Tower Theater for an hour plus of Robert Cray and see if your memory improves any.
More Than I Could Stand
I Guess I Showed Her
Right Next Door (Because of Me)
Playin’ in the Dirt
Too Many Cooks
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I spent quite a few random nights last year driving around listening to Live in Japan by George Harrison. The album itself has been in my collection in one form or another for years, but I don't think I ever really appreciated what a good collection of George's music it was until after that initial listen last year. Although it had been quite a while since I'd listened to it, I knew that I'd be listening to it a lot in the days to come. It was a celebratory return to the road for Harrison after a disastrous 1974 run that caused him to avoid touring again for nearly two decades.
After the release of the second Traveling Wilburys album, his longtime friend Eric Clapton would persuade him to tour once again, providing a band, companionship and support for the brief set of Japanese dates that would end up as his last tour. At the time, Live in Japan was a recording of a tour that I hadn't had the chance to see and perhaps if I was lucky, I'd eventually have the opportunity. But in the end, it became a historical treasure for an artist that didn't flood the world with an overload of endless live albums that one might take for granted. With only one official live release prior, Live in Japan is a priceless document of Harrison's later years. It exposes also how understated both Harrison and Clapton can be as players, communicating so effectively and yet very deliberately with only a few notes necessary to create many of the goosebump moments that occur throughout the show.
Whether it's revisiting a musical moment like this or discovering a random contribution such as his guitar solo on "Leave A Light On" by Belinda Carlisle, Harrison's talents continue to make an impact on me as a music fan. I don't think I'm alone in saying that Harrison's love for the ukelele made me want to learn how to play one the first time I heard him play. Watching all of his musical friends pay tribute to his legacy during the Concert for George event left no questions as to how big of an impact he'd made on the world as an artist.
Music fans worldwide can celebrate Harrison's birthday today by watching Concert For George, which is streaming for free for 24 hours today at GeorgeHarrison.com, an event that will be followed by the release of the film on Blu-ray and digital download for the first time ever on March 22nd. Clapton served as the musical director for the tribute to his old friend while another longtime comrade and bandmate, Jeff Lynne, handled audio production duties for the release.
One of my favorite moments of the night was the version of "Handle with Care" by fellow Wilbury Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which brought things full circle for me, since it was one of the early Harrison-related songs that I loved as a music fan and one of my favorite music videos (remember when they played music videos?). Just in case you arrived after the period of music video's golden age, I'll embed it below for your viewing pleasure. If you've seen Tom do this one live, I think you'll agree that he does justice to all of the departed Wilbury members with his version.
Here's the track listing for the concert - head over to GeorgeHarrison.com to watch it now!
1. Your Eyes - Anoushka Shankar
2. The Inner Light - Jeff Lynne & Anoushka Shankar
3. Arpan - Conducted by Anoushka Shankar
4. Sit On My Face – Monty Python
5. The Lumberjack Song – Monty Python with Tom Hanks
6. I Want To Tell You - Jeff Lynne
7. If I Needed Someone - Eric Clapton
8. Old Brown Shoe - Gary Brooker
9. Give Me Love - Jeff Lynne
10. Beware Of Darkness - Eric Clapton
11. Here Comes The Sun - Joe Brown
12. That’s The Way It Goes - Joe Brown
13. Horse To The Water – Sam Brown
14. Taxman - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
15. I Need You - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
16. Handle With Care - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Jeff Lynne & Dhani Harrison
17. Isn’t It A Pity - Billy Preston
18. Photograph - Ringo Starr
19. Honey Don’t - Ringo Starr
20. For You Blue - Paul McCartney
21. Something - Paul McCartney & Eric Clapton
22. All Things Must Pass - Paul McCartney
23. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Paul McCartney & Eric Clapton
24. My Sweet Lord - Billy Preston
25. Wah Wah - Eric Clapton & Band
26. I’ll See You In My Dreams - Joe Brown
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Thanks to ATV pal Scott Banham for the heads up on this one! If the combination of a frosty cerveza and the music of Roger Clyne sounds like a good time to you (and it should!), you'll want to nab yourself a ticket for the newly announced last minute Beachland show happening this upcoming Tuesday (3/1) IN THE TAVERN!
Normally, you'd find Clyne and his regular band of musical gypsies The Peacemakers in the larger Ballroom (for shows that often are packed to the gills), but Tuesday's show will be a more intimate affair with Clyne and fellow Peacemaker P.H. Naffah performing acoustically (ATV friend Jason Meyers will open up the show). Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 day of show, but you're probably running a huge risk of a shutout if you wait that long.
The duo will barnstorm a smattering of cities starting with the Cleveland show on Tuesday, with stops in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota (we're really starting to get cold now) prior to wrapping things up in Indianapolis on March 6th. I'm not sure what the exact reason is behind the dates (and hell, we ain't lookin' for an explanation), but the one thing that they all have in common is that it will give like minded individuals in each city the opportunity to come out and drink beer and enjoy some good old fashioned acoustic pickin' with a setlist that's sure to feature your favorites from both the Peacemakers catalog and ye olde Refreshments. Check out the complete run of tour dates here.
Clyne will be back on the road in April with the full band, celebrating the release of the latest Peacemakers opus Unida Cantina, which will be available on April 19th. It's reasonable to guess that you'll probably hear at least a few of those new songs at the upcoming March dates. On top of that, each night is a guaranteed good time...the most fun you can have without actually being in Mexico!
Here's a recent live performance of "Maria," one of the tracks that will be featured on the upcoming album, recorded in January at the Music Fog studios in Steamboat Springs, CO.more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
[Note: There are now two Cleveland area screenings scheduled for The Wrecking Crew. The first one will be on Friday, 3/4 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The original post has been updated with information regarding an additional screening on Saturday, March 5th at Tri-C. Information on both screenings follows below.]
If you were lucky enough to catch the initial screening of The Wrecking Crew at the Cleveland International Film Festival a couple of years ago, you already know what an excellent documentary it is. For the many folks who were shut out of the sold out screening, here's some good news: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is presenting a free screening of The Wrecking Crew next Friday (3/4) at 7pm. While admission is free, a reservation is required to attend this screening. Since events like this at the Rock Hall often "sell out," it's advised that you should secure your reservation as soon as possible and you can do that by sending an email to email@example.com to RSVP.
The screening is being presented in conjunction with Cuyahoga Community College's Recording Arts Program and director Denny Tedesco will be in attendance for the screening and will be interviewed at the conclusion of the film.
If you haven't seen this movie, it really is a can't miss event for music fans. If you're unfamiliar with the film, this description should make your inner geek bug out a bit when you read it:
In the early to mid-1960s, artists such as the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Sonny & Cher, the Byrds, the Righteous Brothers, Nancy Sinatra, and the Fifth Dimension topped the pop charts with songs like “Up, Up and Away,” “Little Old Lady from Pasadena,” “Cherish,” “These Boots are Made for Walking,” and “Good Vibrations.” They were the “Wall” in Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound.” It was known as the West Coast Sound, and the artists who sang these songs were household names, but the musicians who performed those hits were virtually unknown to the listening public – and remain so today. This film is the story of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer, Tommy Tedesco, Glen Campbell, Bill Strange, Carol Kaye, Larry Knechtel, and Joe Osborne – better known as “The Wrecking Crew.”
This film is an intimate, enlightening and often humorous remembrance of the real stories and emotions as told from the perspective of those who lived it. The film is the result of a 12-year labor of love by Denny Tedesco, the son of Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco.
Our thanks to Nick Perry for providing us with the information of an additional screening and afternoon of activities that will happen on Saturday, March 5th at Tri-C at 4pm. Here are the details on that one:
Creating Community: A Regional Audio Industry Gathering
...Center for Creative Arts @ Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus (presented with support from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
2900 Community College Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
4-6 p.m. RAT Studios Open House
6-7 p.m. Tape Op's Larry Crane presentation
7-7:15 p.m. Intermission
7:15-7:30 p.m. Rock Hall Education Director Jason Hanley introduces director/producer Denny Tedesco
7:30-9:15 p.m. Director's remarks and "The Wrecking Crew" screening
10 p.m. Drinks, music and conversation at Wilbert's Food and Music
Tickets: Free but RSVP is required:
Facebook or call Recording Arts Hotline (216) 987-3277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's the trailer for the film:
Also, here's an interview with Denny Tedesco
Because of the extraordinary amount of popular music used in the documentary, the film remains unavailable for commercial purchase at the present moment. Hopefully that will change sometime soon. In the meantime, if you're in the Cleveland area, don't miss these screenings - it really is a great watch and it's one of my favorite music documentaries!
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
ATV favorites The Damnwells unleashed a nice taste of their upcoming album today with the release of the video for "The Great Unknown." It's a happy coincidence as this exact song was my favorite of the demos that I had the chance to hear thanks to being a PledgeMusic supporter towards the funding for the album. It's one of the best tracks I've heard to date from Alex Dezen's songbook. Absolutely stunning. I like what Dezen and his fellow Damnwells have done with the album version, adding strings and building things up very slightly while retaining the raw feel of the original demo.
No One Listens To The Band Anymore will be available on March 15th to the world and I couldn't be more stoked about that. In case you missed my previous words on this subject, the album also is being made available on vinyl - head over to the Clifton Motel and they'll be happy to tell you more about that!
The Damnwells will be hitting the road for a set of tour dates in support of the new album (with a St. Louis date on tap, but sadly no Cleveland show yet - don't make me beg!) and perhaps they're coming to your town (Grand Funk reference). Either way, check out the video below for "The Great Unknown" and download a free MP3 of the track via Paste Magazine. According to Damnwells bassist Ted Hudson, the video "cost a billion dollars and several peoples' lives."
He's only kidding of course....or is he?one
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Whether you've been seeking to upgrade your collection digitally, fill in some gaps or add some previously unavailable titles to it, there's good news for fans of Led Zeppelin and related projects. For one week only, the entire Led Zeppelin catalog is on sale at iTunes, starting at $6.99 per album.
Additionally, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant's post-Zep endeavors No Quarter and Walking Into Clarksdale are available digitally for the first time, something that appears to be an iTunes exclusive at least for the moment.
"Most High" from Walking Into Clarksdale has been a jam heard in recent times here in the ATV hallways, so we're happy to see those two Page/Plant albums get some digital love. Hopefully we'll be able to stream those albums soon as well via fine streaming providers such as Rdio, MOG, etc. etc. etc.zero