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Check Out Who is NOT in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

24 Aug

After you see who didn’t make it, have a look at who has been inducted

Check Out These Musicians Before They Were Famous

3 May

1. Bee Gees       2. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin      3. Joni Mitchell as college student      4. Young David Bowie (not available in some countries)     5. Beatles 1962      6. Stevie Ray Vaughan 1980      7. Eric Clapton 1964       8. John Mayer 1999      9. Bob Dylan first network show      10. Leon Russell 1965      11. Jeff Beck 1965      12. Paul Shaffer      13. Elvis 1955 with Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly      14. Aretha Franklin 1964      15. Whitney Houston     16. Barbara Dennerlein 1984 as a teenager      17. Derek Trucks @ 15      18. Beach Boys 1962  (not available in some countries)    19. Young Neil Young      20. Young Warren Haynes      21. Young Johnny Winter      22. Todd Rundgren in High School (next clip with Nazz, Todd on guitar)     23. Glen Campbell      24. Jim Seals & Dash Crofts before Seals & Crofts (on sax and drums)     25. Susan Tedeschi 1996      26. Steely Dan 1973      27. Etta James      28. Frank Zappa 1963!

 

 

The Beatles Final Tour & Paul McCartney’s First — Being there

12 Oct

beatles stadium

It is difficult to impart to young people today what a phenomenon the Beatles were in the 1960s.  Imagine, when the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, 73 million people were watching, and in 1964 the US population was only 192 million!

American Debut

Sullivan’s failure to scoop the TV industry with[Elvis] Presley made him determined to get the next big sensation first. In 1964, he achieved that with the first live American appearance of The Beatles, on February 9, 1964, the most-watched program in TV history to that point and still one of the most-watched programs of all time. (Wikipedia)

At 8 o’clock on February 9th 1964, America tuned in to CBS and The Ed Sullivan Show. But this night was different. 73 million people gathered in front their TV sets to see The Beatles’ first live performance on U.S. soil. The television rating was a record-setting 45.3, meaning that 45.3% of households with televisions were watching. That figure reflected a total of 23,240,000 American homes. The show garnered a 60 share, meaning 60% of the television’s turned on were tuned in to Ed Sullivan and The Beatles. Source

Their appearance on Ed Sullivan took place exactly 80 days after the funeral of John F. Kennedy, which was another event whose impact on the American public is impossible to convey to anyone who didn’t live through it.  You will often hear it said that we were in a collective state of mourning, and the Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan was something that allowed the nation to come together with a sense of relief. Having lived through it, I agree.

Beginning of a universal youth culture

In many ways the Beatles were the beginning of a universal youth culture, and they were at the center of the spirit of the 60s.

Up until this point, the world was much less interconnected.  Prior to the Beatles, with the exception of a fluke, or one-hit-wonder, it would have been unthinkable to have a British artist at the top of the US pop charts.  Our pop stars tended to have slick hair, and suddenly here were these guys from the North of England with (what was then considered) unbelievably long hair.  Consider this quote from Elvis Presley while visiting the White House in 1970:

“The Beatles laid the groundwork for many of the problems we are having with young people by their filthy unkempt appearances and suggestive music while entertaining in this country during the early and middle 1960s.”

Elvis Presley, recorded during a 1970 visit to Richard Nixon at the White House

Continue reading

Breaking Bad’s Final Music

30 Sep

goodbye baby blueFor young fans of Breaking Bad who might be wondering where the final song of Breaking Bad came from, it is Baby Blue, by Badfinger.  A perfect choice.

Signed by the Beatles’Apple label in 1968 as The Iveys, they adopted the name Badfinger in 1969. Badfinger had four consecutive worldwide hits from 1970 to 1971: “Come and Get It” (written and produced by Paul McCartney), “No Matter What”, “Day After Day”, and “Baby Blue”.  Wikipedia

And if that weren’t enough, Todd Rundgren was the producer on Baby Blue:

Talkin’ Blues, Bluegrass & More with Jimmy Herring

14 Nov

Check out my interview with Jimmy Herring in All About Jazz and also my First Impressions look at his latest album Subject To Change Without Notice (Abstract Logix, 2012)

Talkin’ Blues with Jaimoe

28 Mar

Check out my new interview with Jaimoe, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.

Tedeschi Trucks Band: So what does Revelator reveal?

19 Jun

Two wings of equal strength endow a bird with the capacity to truly soar. This principle also helps to explain why Revelator (Sony, 2011), the debut album of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, has soared to #1 for blues releases on Amazon, #2 in rock, and #3 in all of music. This band brings together vocalist Susan Tedeschi, whose previous release in 2009 earned her a Grammy nomination, with slide guitarist Derek Trucks, who won the Grammy for his 2009 release. What’s particularly striking in this pairing is how evenly matched these exceptional talents are. Continue reading

John Scofield Interview: Talkin’ Blues

1 Apr

2013 UPDATE:  You can now download the audio of this interview, or stream it here

John Scofield is one of the world’s most influential and respected guitarists, a musician and composer who has worked with many of the greatest names in jazz: Chet Baker, Gary Burton, Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan and scores of others. His 30 plus solo recordings have taken his fans on a remarkably wide-ranging musical journey – from straight ahead jazz, bebop, and fusion, to funky experimental outings with Medeski, Scofield, Martin, and Wood, and even gospel jazz fusion with his Piety Street Band.  On his current album 54 (Emarcy, 2010), he is backed by a 50 plus piece orchestra, complete with strings, harps, brass, and woodwinds, and, as always, he somehow manages to play in a way that appeals to jazz aficionados and discerning guitarheads.

Fans of Soulive, Phil Lesh & Friends, Govt. Mule, and John Mayer are well aware that John Scofield is an exciting and soulful player, and this ability to be true to himself as a serious jazz artist, while also appealing to rock, R&B, and blues fans is what makes him so special. After watching him (@ Moogis.com) blow the roof off the Beacon when he sat in with the Allman Brothers Band on March 18, 2011, I thought it would be fascinating to talk to this jazz icon about coming of age in the ’60s & ’70s and get his take on the icons of blues rock. So this interview was conducted just a few days after that event.

Regular readers of this blog know that I publish my interviews on All About Jazz, but this year a major retrospective interview with John Scofield was already planned for the later part of 2011 to coincide with the release of his upcoming album A Moments Peace (Emarcy, 2011.) Nevertheless, he graciously agreed to this interview on blues rock guitar for Jazzamatazz, and I resisted the urge to ask him about jazz and his work with Miles and the other jazz greats – we can all look forward to that later this year on All About Jazz. Meanwhile, if you see any names you don’t recognize, or any of your favorites, be sure to check the hyper-links – there are even links to posters of concerts John saw as a high school student.

Jazzamatazz: First, as a blues fan I want to tell you how much I love your album Piety Street (2009, Universal Music). It’s one of those recordings where everything just seems to have fit together perfectly, from the material and musicians down to the great cover art. And the fact that you decided to do a gospel album in New Orleans and actually ended up in a studio on Piety Street, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

John Scofield: Yeah, it was one of those things, almost like being helped from above. It was also so much fun doing that record. Of course I knew the studio was on Piety Street, but it really didn’t register until I got down there.

Jazzamatazz: Jon Cleary was a great choice, it’s uncanny that a guy from England sings and plays piano like someone who grew up in the 9th Ward, and if that weren’t enough, he’s a fine guitarist.

John Scofield: Jon Cleary is just a major talent, and we did a year of touring after the album came out. It was wonderful working with him and he’s just become a great friend. He’s actually been into it for a long time, his story is rather interesting. His father and uncle were way into the music of New Orleans when he was a kid. So he grew up with New Orleans music playing around the house all the time, and his uncle was a musician. His sister was also really into it and had already moved down there, so when he was about age eighteen he was already playing and singing it, and at this point he’s lived down there for a long time.

Jazzamatazz: You’ve also had John Boutté who famously sings the theme song for HBO’s mini-series Treme. Have you had a chance to watch it, and are there any plans for you to appear in an episode?

John Scofield: Yes, that’s so great. We actually recorded Peity Street before that, and I was so happy to see that they used his music for the series. I actually watched one of the episodes with Jon Cleary in it, it’s very good. They haven’t asked me, but I’ll be there if they want me.

Jazzamatazz: You seem to have retained a rock energy when you need it, but other than a bit of B.B. King I can’t spot a particular influence from a blues or rock player. Were there any rock or blues player you listened to in your early years who had a lasting influence on you?

John Scofield: So first, there is influence, and then there are also people whom you like and respect. I liked and respected all of the blues players, and they all kind of played a bit like B.B. King, Otis Rush, Albert King and Freddie King. And I loved those guys, and Hendrix and Clapton, and I was a teenager when that first came out.

I started playing guitar at the end of 1963 just before the Beatles came over. [Laughing] I think I had my guitar out holding it when I was watching the Beatles on television on the Ed Sullivan Show. Continue reading

Allman Brothers Meet Steely Dan

18 Mar

This was worth the price of admission!  Donald Fagen of Steely Dan sits in.

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Check out Susan Tedeschi in the background.

25 Essential Albums: 1960 – 1974, a guide for music fans under 30

13 Oct

GOING OLD SCHOOL

This photo from August 1969 shows people on the way to Woodstock.  A month earlier they watched people walk on the Moon, Continue reading

Hall & Friends

11 Sep

Here’s another fantastic use of the Internet. If you haven’t watched “Live From Daryl’s House” yet, it’s time to discover something really wonderful — an intimate celebration of music. A particularly good show is the episode with the country singer Jimmy Wayne.

Below is a description from Daryl Hall’s website:

Daryl Hall started Live From Daryl’s House, the free monthly web show in late 2007, after having the idea of “playing with my friends and putting it up on the Internet,” and the show has since garnered acclaim from Rolling Stone, SPIN, Daily Variety,CNN, BBC, Yahoo! Music and influential blogger Bob Lefsetz, who have cited Live From Daryl’s House as a perfect example of a veteran artist reinventing himself in the digital age by collaborating with both established colleagues and newer performers.

Past episodes of Live from Daryl’s House have featured a mix of well-known performers like Smokey Robinson, The Doors’ Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, Nick Lowe, K.T. Tunstall, Todd Rundgren, Gym Class Heroes’ Travis McCoy, Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, Finger Eleven’s James Black and Rick Jackett, the Bacon Brothers and country star Jimmy Wayne, along with newcomers such as Philly soul singer Mutlu, Canadian techno-rockers Chromeo, MySpace pop-rock phenom Eric Hutchinson, Cash Money rocker Kevin Rudolf, Wind-up Records’ Chicago rockers Company of Thieves, Bay Area singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson, Charlottesville, VA’s rising Parachute, Chicago rock band Plain White T’s and highly touted tunesmith Diane Birch. (from Live From Daryl’s House website)


My Interview with the Ace Session-Guitarist Louie Shelton

27 Jan

Some of the artists with whom Louie Shelton has worked.

When Louie was 13 years old he met an up and coming Elvis Presley.  Elvis was playing at Louie’s  junior high school in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  Years later in Los Angeles as a session guitarist  he was in the studio with Elvis.  Louie was one of two people in the studio when young Michael Jackson sang “I Want You Back.”  He was in the studio with John Lennon and Phil Spector.  T-Bone Walker, James Brown, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder are also among his credits.  He also produced Seals & Crofts and played lead guitar on their most memorable hits.

His 2009 induction into the Musicians Hall of Fame provided the perfect backdrop for this conversation with All About Jazz about his remarkable musical career.

READ THE INTERVIEW ON ALL ABOUT JAZZ

Beatles For Sale – Again – Remastered, is it worth it?

26 Sep

beatles

After more than forty years I hated the idea of re-buying a Beatles recording.  Despite all the hype, how much could they really improve 4-track analogue recordings made in the 60’s? I had read a couple of blog posts which mocked the idea and called the CDs a waste of money.

But after hearing what George Martin’s son had done with his re-mix for the Beatles’ “Love” CD, I thought I would order a couple of my favorite recordings to hear for myself. Continue reading

Beatles, Stones, Bach, Coltrane?

13 Sep

Imagine you were given the chance to go back in time and witness four musical events (one each from jazz, blues, classical, and rock history.) What would they be?

I asked this question to Derek Trucks, Rhoda Scott & Randall Bramblett, you can read their responses in my new All About Jazz article: A Question of Time

Michael Jackson, Ray Charles & Bob Dylan ?!?

5 Jul

we are the world fotoThis may have been the most impressive group to ever assemble in a recording studio. It happened  in January 1985.  After the American Music Awards a group of  musicians gathered at the A&M Studios in Hollywood, California to record a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, “We Are the World.”  The single was a worldwide success that raised over $63 million for famine relief in Africa (wikipedia.)  The nature of the cause, Michael Jackson’s enormous 80’s star power, and Quincy Jones’ power of persuasion, were no doubt the reasons that so many musicians took part.  It was amazing to watch the interaction of people like Diana Ross and Bob Dylan, or Stevie Wonder helping Bob Dylan work out his solo, so seeing Ray Charles improvising on the theme during a break.  In the 80’s it was easy to like Michael Jackson, he was on top of the world, and regardless of what happened later, his charity saved coutless lives, his dancing set a new standard, and along with Quincy Jones he created some very memorable music.  So for a few minutes, forget Neverland, Thriller and Bad and enjoy this special event. Continue reading

Allman Brothers 40th – Ongoing Beacon Updates

29 Mar

UPDATE

A lot of people still seem to be interested in this subject, so I’m leaving this post up.  It was originally a daily review of each Beacon show, primarily using photos and set lists.  Thus it is in reverse order, last show first.

After watching it all and reflecting on the Allman Brothers 40th, I wrote an article that was published on All About Jazz.  You can read it here.

The Allman Brothers: 40 Years Out

Final Night

Fantastic Ending to a Great Run
Fantastic Ending to a Great Run

Well, my guess about Phil Lesh was correct and I’m so happy that Chuck Leavell did indeed make it back from the timber conference in Idaho to close out the Beacon run – what a terrific surprise!  Chuck totally smoked the place, he was awesome.

The best $125 I've ever spent!  Thanks to everyone @ Moogis!

The best $125 I've ever spent! Thanks to everyone @ Moogis!

On the final night the Moogis folks took us backstage for a tour.

f-moogis-control-room

f-tour Continue reading

Rolling Stones’ List of the Greatest Singers of All Time

22 Nov

According to Rolling Stone:

The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time

1 | Aretha Franklin

2 | Ray Charles

3 | Elvis Presley Continue reading

Mitch Mitchell R.I.P. Last of the Hendrix Trio

13 Nov

From the  BBC:

Mitch Mitchell, the British drummer in the seminal 1960s band the Jimi Hendrix Experience, has been found dead in his US hotel room, authorities say.

The 61-year-old was discovered in the Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon, in the early hours of Wednesday. Continue reading

My Interview with the Legendary Chuck Leavell

3 Sep


Chuck Leavell is one of the world’s premier blues rock pianists–a veteran musician who has recorded and toured with many of the best-known names in the business. He is perhaps best known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Black Crowes, and most of all, his legendary years with the Allman Brothers Band in the ’70s.

My extensive and wide-ranging interview with Chuck has just been published in All About Jazz.

You can read it

here.

Remembering the Music of 1964 with Videos & Background

24 Aug

THE YEAR OF THE BEATLES

This was the absolute year of the Beatles in the USA.  I don’t think anyone who experienced that year as a teenager will ever forget the unique magic of the Beatles conquering America.  Imagine, for 3 months they held the 1 & 2 spot in the singles charts:

From February 22, 1964 until April 25, 1964 the Beatles held the top two positions, with various singles. On some weeks their domination extended past the top two. On April 4, 1964, the Beatles occupied the entire top five.

1.”Can’t Buy Me Love”
2. “Twist and Shout”
3. “She Loves You”
4. “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
5. “Please Please Me” Continue reading