Thursday, February 28, 2013
Song:(Everything I Do) I Do It For You
Canadian rocker Bryan Adams was very successful in the 80s and 90s. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You is one of his four number one hits. It is from the 1991 film Robin Hood, Prince Of Thieves. He still records occasionally but in recent years has become an acclaimed photographer. He was born Nov. 5, 1959 in Kingston, ON. His father was a Canadian diplomat so his family traveled the world when he was a child. After his parents divorce in 1973, he moved with his mother to Vancouver. Adams was 15 years old when he was lead singer of Sweeney Todd. They released an album in 1976. He met former Prism drummer Jim Vallance in 1978 and the two worked together for Adams' early career. Adams signed with A & M Records and released his debut album in 1980. His breakthrough album was Cuts Like A Knife in 1983. Straight From The Heart was his first top ten hit in the US. The 1984 album Reckless spawned several hit singles including his first number one hit Heaven. Adams' success continued but he split with Vallance in 1989. Adams formed a new partnership with veteran producer Robert "Mutt" Lange that proved to be even more successful. Robin Hood, Prince Of Thieves composer Michael Kamen contacted Adams and Lange about recording a song for the film. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1991 and it was a big worldwide hit. It was number one in England for 16 weeks. The song also won a Grammy for Best Song Written For A Motion Picture. Adams' other number one hits were All For Love in 1993 and Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman in 1995. You can get all his hits on this 2CD comp. Adams faded in the late 90s and hasn't had the same success in recent years. His most recent CD of new music was released in 2008. There was talk last year of new music but it hasn't happened. Adams is currently on a world tour. In recent years he has become an award winning fashion photographer. He is a member of the Order of Canada and has received awards for his charitable works. Here's the video for (Everything I Do) I Do It For You by Bryan Adams.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Song:People Funny Boy
Album:Reggae Genius: 20 Upsetter Classics
Lee "Scratch" Perry is a living legend of Jamaican music known as the mad genius of reggae. The 1968 hit People Funny Boy is one of his biggest hits. He was born Rainford Hugh Perry Mar. 20, 1936 in Kendal, Jamaica. He started out in the late 50s as a record seller for Jamaican music pioneer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One. Before long, Perry was producing records for Dodd. Perry left Studio One over money and went to work at Joe Gibbs' Wirl Records. But the same thing happened there and Perry left to start his own label Upsetter in 1968. People Funny Boy was his first single and it was a big hit in Jamaica. The song is based on The Pioneers hit Long Shot. And the lyrics are a tirade aimed at Joe Gibbs. You can hear Perry's infant son crying in the background. From there, Perry became one of the hottest producers in Jamaica. He recorded as Jah Lion, Super Ape and The Upsetter. He also produced early Bob Marley & The Wailers recording which led to them signing with Island Records. In the 70s he experimented with dub and produced the Junior Murvin classic Police and Thieves. Through all this, Perry has had mental health issues and drug and alcohol problems. His recording studio burned to the ground under suspicious circumstances. Perry signed with Trojan Records in 2002 and they have attempted to make sense out of his discography. This comp from the British label Spectrum is a good intro for newcomers. Lee "Scratch" Perry is still performing and recording today. Here's Lee "Scratch" Perry performing People Funny Boy from a 2001 live DVD.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
|Danica Patrick, Ronda Rousey|
Blondie was the most commercially successful band of the punk and new wave movement of the late 70s. They had four number one hits including Call Me in 1980. Lead singer Deborah Harry was born July 1, 1945 in Miami and grew up in Hawthorne, NJ. she moved to New York City to become a singer and worked as a waitress, go go dancer and Playboy bunny. She was a backup singer for The Wind and the Willows. They recorded one album for Capitol in 1967. In 1974 she joined The Stilettos and met guitarist Chris Stein. They began a relationship and started working together after The Stilettos split up. At first they were called Angel and the Snakes and settled on Blondie because that's what truck drivers yelled at Harry when she was walking down the street. Other band members were Jimmy Destri on keyboards, Gary Valentine on bass and Clem Burke on drums. They signed with Private Stock Records and released their debut album Blondie in 1976. But Private Stock was having financial problems. So they bought back their contract and signed with Chrysalis Records. At this point Blondie was a cult band and most of the buzz was about Deborah Harry's sex appeal. But they became a mainstream success with the 1978 album Parallel Lines and their first number one hit Heart Of Glass. Their were some complaints from fans that the song was too disco but Clem Burke said that was deliberate and credits Kraftwerk as a big influence. Call Me was Blondie's second number one hit. It was written for the soundtrack of the 1980 film American Gigolo. Film music composer Georgio Moroder wanted Stevie Nicks to write a song for the film. But she was unavailable. He gave an instrumental he had written to Harry and asked her to write lyrics. She says Call Me is about driving on the California coast. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 and was a worldwide hit. Blondie's two other number one hits were The Tide Is High and Rapture. You can get them all on this budget comp. The band took a break and Harry released a solo album. They split up in 1982 when Stein was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease pemphigus. Harry continued her solo career in 1986. Burke and Destri became session musicians. Blondie first reformed in 1997 and they continue to tour today. They released a CD in 2011. Blondie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 by Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson. So they were very influential. Here's the video for Call Me by Blondie.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Song:Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not
Thompson Square is a husband and wife country music duo who made a big splash with their 2010 single Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not. Their second CD will be released next month. Kiefer Thompson is from Miami, OK and Shawna is from Chatom, AL. Both moved to Nashville and then met at a singing competition. As Shawna says, it seems cheesy but it was love at first sight. So they started playing shows together and this led to a record contract with Stoney Creek Records which is the sister label to Broken Bow Records. Their debut CD was produced by Jason Aldean's road band. Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not topped the Country Singles chart and reached #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song won the ACA award for breakthrough single of the year. Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not was written by Jim Collins and David Lee Murphy. Both guys were solo artists in the 90s and Murphy was fairly successful. Thompson Square's second CD Just Feels Good will be released Mar. 26, 2013. They are working with the same producers but it appears the duo is writing more of their own songs on this CD. If I Didn't Have You was the first single and it did OK. Here's the video for Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not by Thompson Square.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
OK folks. I have the Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche fight video right here on the Big Bad Blog. Even if you find it on Youtube, it will be deleted. I don't use Youtube. Not only was this match historic but it lived up to the pre-match hype. This was especially important because the match between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida that dopey whiners thought should be the main event was a dud. Anyone who still refuses to give credit to these two women isn't a real MMA fan. This fight hit a home run. The big question was what would Liz have for Ronda and would that make any difference. After Ronda's initial takedown, Liz managed to scramble on to Ronda's back and apply a standing rear naked choke. The funny part is that earlier in the show, Urijah Faber used the same hold to beat Ivan Menjivar. It's not that common but it was still fresh in people's minds. But if you watch very closely, you can see that Liz never gets the choke applied properly. And the problem was that UFC announcers Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan missed the call. If the choke had been applied properly for that length of time, Ronda would have been asleep. So Liz turns it into a neck crank. I've seen Shayna Baszler get a submission with a neck crank but not standing. So a standing neck crank is a very low percentage move unlikely to get a submission. And it didn't. After Ronda threw Liz, Liz stayed on her back. One would think she would want to get up. I'm not sure what she was trying to do but it didn't work. Ronda used a very slick move to control Liz and pound her head. Then with a minute left in the round, Ronda went to side control and of course the armbar. She had less time than last year with Miesha Tate. But Ronda was successful and it was over. Ronda Rousey is still the UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion. The one thing we saw here is Ronda can withstand adversity. I don't know if that will stop the haters. Probably not. Ronda's next challenger will be the winner of Miesha Tate vs Cat Zingano on Apr. 13. Other female fighters under UFC contract include Sara McMann, Alexis Davis, Sarah Kaufman, Germaine De Randamie, Julie Kedzie and Amanda Nunes. And supposedly they are looking at five more fighters. So we've come a long way from the first women's MMA show promoted by LLPW owner Shinobu Kandori back in 1996. And the first Hook 'N' Shoot show promoted by Jeff Osborne. The blood, sweat and tears shed by women's MMA pioneers like Megumi Yabushita, Marloes Coenen, Yuka Tsuji, Megumi Fujii and Tara LaRosa led to last night. This is just the beginning. Enjoy the video.
Song:We Are The Tide
Album:We Are The Tide
Blind Pilot started out as a folk duo in 2006 and then became a full band in 2009. We Are The Tide is their latest CD. They are from Portland, OR. Lead singer and guitarist Israel Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski first met in college in 2006 and started playing local clubs. They decided to move to Astoria, OR and record some demos. They released an EP and did a bike tour from Bellingham, WA to San Diego playing shows and selling CDs. When they returned home, they signed with local indie label Expunged Records and released the 2008 CD 3 Round and a Sound. Then they added four members and became a full band in 2009. They are Luke Ydstie on bass, Kati Claborn on banjo and dulcimer, Ian Krist on vibraphone and Dave Jorgensen on keyboards and trumpet. They were all on the CD but hadn't toured with Blind Pilot. In 2009 Blind Pilot toured the US and Europe opening for Gomez and Counting Crows. Then they toured with The Decemberists in 2010. They released an iTunes only live EP. This was not released on CD. And they toured music festivals. They finally returned home and We Are The Tide was released Sept. 2011. They recently appeared on Ellen on her birthday episode. Apparently they are her favourite band. Those who enjoy groups like The Decemberists should also enjoy Blind Pilot. I like the use of vibes, dulcimer and ukelele. It distinguishes them from other bands. We Are the Tide is available as a budget CD. Here is Blind Pilot performing We Are The Tide in the Bing Lounge Sept. 13, 2011.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Album:Siembra: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Willie Colon is a legend of Latin music as a trombonist, bandleader, producer and arranger. He probably had his biggest commercial success as a bandleader in the 70s first with singer Hector Lavoe and then Ruben Blades. Blades would go on to a significant solo career. Colon was born Apr. 28, 1950 in The Bronx, NY. His parents were Puerto Rican immigrants. He started out playing the trumpet and switched to trombone influenced by Brecker Bros. trombonist Barry Rogers. He signed with Fania Records at age 15. When a singer failed to turn up for a recording session, Fania owner Johnny Pacheco suggested Hector Lavoe. And a successful partnership was born. It lasted until 1975 when Lavoe's unreliability due to drug addiction forced Colon to fire him. He still produced his albums. Colon first met Ruben Blades in 1969 but didn't work with him until after Lavoe was fired. The two had a very successful partnership. The 1978 album Siembra was their biggest seller. You can get it in a deluxe edition with bonus tracks. Blades left Fania for Elektra in 1984. The two would occasionally reunite but the split was not amicable. Colon continued to record his own music and produce other artists. He still performs and records occasionally but he is very active in New York City politics. He currently heads the Latin Media Entertainment Commission for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Anyone interested in Latin music needs to check out Willie Colon. Here's Willie Colon featuring Ruben Blades performing Buscando Guayaba probably from the late 70s.
Friday, February 22, 2013
This third episode of UFC 157 Primetime concentrates on the mindsets of Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche leading up to tomorrow's historic fight. I don't know if it was just the way this was edited or Liz really believes this but it is made to look like Liz is underestimating Ronda's journey and determination. If she believes that, it's a huge mistake. I think both have gone through a lot of things that make them great athletes. But we have seen opponents underestimate Ronda before and we all know how that has turned out. Ronda doesn't seem to do that with any opponent. She thought Miesha Tate was a hypocrite but she thought Miesha would be a tough opponent. She doesn't devalue what Liz has been through in her life but Liz does devalue what Ronda has been through. I hear urgency in Ronda's voice but I didn't hear the same urgency from Liz. Like I said, maybe the show was manipulated in editing. I don't know. We'll find out tomorrow. It was nice to see Liz got to bring her mom and sister in to see the show. Enjoy the video.
Album:The Best Of Blind Melon
Blind Melon burst onto the music scene in 1992 with No Rain. They looked like they were going to be very successful. But it all came to a screeching halt when lead singer Shannon Hoon died of a drug overdose in 1995. The band is still around but of course it's not the same. Blind Melon formed in 1990 when Mississippi natives Rogers Stevens (guitar) and Brad Smith (bass) moved to Los Angeles and met Indiana native Shannon Hoon (lead vocals). They added guitarist Christopher Thorn and brought in drummer Glen Graham from Mississippi. The name Blind Melon is from the Cheech & Chong character Blind Melon Chitlin, a spoof of Mississippi bluesmen like Blind Lemon Jefferson. A demo earned them a record deal with Capitol Records. The group was unhappy with their first recording sessions. So Capitol assigned them to Pearl Jam producer Rick Parashar. Their 1992 CD Blind Melon didn't sell at first. But the video for No Rain caught on at MTV and the song reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100. It featured Heather DeLoach as Bee Girl. The song was also a hit internationally. Blind Melon reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 4XPlatinum. Blind Melon recorded their second CD Soup in New Orleans. It wasn't as successful and Shannon Hoon was addicted to drugs and alcohol and was in and out of rehab. They went on tour against the advice of his drug counselor. Hoon was found dead of a cocaine overdose on the tour bus on Oct. 21, 1995 at age 28. The band attempted to find a lead vocalist but never did and split up in 1999. Thorn and Smith had already started a new band Unified Theory. This comp is a good intro to Blind Melon's music and it is available with a bonus DVD. Blind Melon reformed in 2006 with lead singer Travis Warren. They released a CD in 2008 but Warren left halfway through their tour and Blind Melon split up again. Warren returned in 2010 and though Blind Melon have no plans to record, they still tour. Here's the video for No Rain by Blind Melon.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
The Kaiser Chiefs have done very well in their native England. But they haven't had the same success here. Ruby has been their only number one hit in England to date. The band is from Leeds, England. Drummer Nick Hodgson, keyboard player Nick Baines and bassist Simon Rix were schoolmates in West Yorkshire. When Rix and Baines left for university in 1996, Hodgson remained in Leeds and met lead singer Ricky Wilson and guitarist Andrew White and formed the band Runston Parva. When Rix and Baines returned to Leeds, they became Parva and signed with the Beggars Banquet label Mantra. But the label was closed and Parva was dropped. Their one CD went nowhere. They had to change their name to get a fresh start. They are named after the South African soccer team Kaiser Chiefs. They signed with B-Unique Records which at the time was distributed by Atlantic in England and later switched to Polydor/Universal. Their 2005 debut CD Employment reached #2 on the UK Album chart and was certified Platinum. Singles like Oh My God and I Predict A Riot did very well. It won an NME Award for Best Album. Their 2007 CD Yours Truly, Angry Mob was released in the US on Motown. It got some airplay but if the band had toured the US and Motown got behind it, the Kaiser Chiefs could have been big. Ruby topped the UK chart and is their only number one hit to date. You may have heard Ruby in commercials for the restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday. The Kaiser Chiefs albums since then haven't been as successful though they are still active and continue to tour England. This comp has all their singles. Nick Hodgson left Kaiser Chiefs in Dec. 2012 and was replaced by Vijay Mistry. They are working on new music and have just started a UK tour. Here's the video for Ruby by Kaiser Chiefs.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
|Rin Nakai at today's press conference|
Album:Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Bon Iver started out as a backwoods folk music project for singer songwriter Justin Vernon. With his 2011 CD Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Vernon tried to turn it into more of a band instead of a one man show. He somehow got mainstream attention and Grammy awards. I think he's good but I'm not sure he merits more attention than any other folkie. Vernon was born Apr. 30, 1981 in Eau Claire, WI. He had some success on the local music scene in Raleigh, NC with the band DeYarmond Edison, Vernon's middle names. After releasing a couple of EPs, the band split up and the other members started a new band Megafaun. Vernon moved back to Wisconsin and spent the winter at his father's cabin in the woods. He decided to record there. The name Bon Iver is a French greeting meaning Good Winter used frequently on the popular TV series Northern Exposure. He recorded the 2007 CD For Emma, Forever Ago in that cabin himself. There was no band. Vernon never intended for the CD to get a wide release. But then bloggers started calling it the album of the year and it all snowballed from there. The 2011 CD Bon Iver, Bon Iver was even more successful. He brought in musicians to play so it wasn't just his voice. Some songs got radio play including Holocene. The CD is more commercial because it's more produced. It's not just Vernon in a cabin. He formed a touring band and did the music festival circuit. And he also won Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album Grammys. Holocene was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. After the 2012 tour was done, Vernon announced that Bon Iver was going on hiatus. He doesn't know yet if Bon Iver will return as a band or Vernon will go back to recording in his father's cabin. My guess is he would prefer the latter but he may be too famous for that. Here's the video for Holocene by Bon Iver.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
When the Canadian band The Stills emerged in 2003, they were hailed for their post punk sound. But a major personnel change resulted in a change in direction to roots rock for the 2006 CD Without Feathers. Though the CD was more successful, conflict within the band led to their 2011 demise. The Stills were from Montreal and the band members went to school together. Tim Fletcher was lead singer, Greg Paquet was on guitar, Oliver Crowe was on bass and Dave Hamelin was on drums. They all played in other bands before forming the Stills in 2000. They signed with Vice Records and released the 2003 EP Rememberese and the 2004 CD Logic Will Break Your Heart. The band was hailed for their post punk sound and they opened for bands like Interpol. But then Greg Paquet left to go back to school. Hamelin took over on guitar and the band added keyboard player Liam O'Neil and drummer Julian Blais. It appears that Hamelin took a more active role in songwriting and vocals and Fletcher took a back seat to him. This resulted in a more mainstream rock sound that got them some radio airplay in the US. The Stills switched to Arts & Crafts records for the 2008 CD Oceans Will Rise. And though they won two Juno awards, The Stills announced their breakup in Apr. 2011 after Paquet returned in 2010. Hamelin and O'Neil have formed Eight and a Half with Justin Peroff of Broken Social Scene. Their debut CD was released last year. Without Feathers is available as a budget CD and is worth checking out. Here's the video for Destroyer by The Stills.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Song:In A Room
Album:Ace A's & Killer B's
The 60s influenced band Dodgy had success in their native England in the mid-90s but never crossed the pond to America. They are worth checking out. The band was at first called Purple when they began in 1988 with lead singer and bassist Nigel Clark, Matthew Priest on drums and David Griffiths on guitar. They moved from Redditch to London and bassist Frederic Colier joined. Griffiths was fired and Clark switched to guitar. They felt they needed a lead guitarist and they hired Aussie Ben Lurie. But after one week in the band, he left to join The Jesus and Mary Chain. Then they hired Andy Miller. Colier left and Clark took over the bass. Then the band name was changed to Dodgy. They signed with A & M Records and released three albums from 1993 to 1998. They had some success in England with hits like Staying Out For The Summer, In A Room, Good Enough and If You're Thinking Of Me. But then Nigel Clark left to go solo in 1998 and Dodgy was dropped by A & M. This budget CD is a good intro to their music. Priest and Miller continued Dodgy with three new members and released a CD in 2001. Clark returned to Dodgy in 2007 and the band recorded two live CDs. They released their first CD of new music in a decade with the 2012 CD Stand Upright In A Cool Place. They are currently touring England. Dodgy is recommended to fans of Britpop. Here's the video for In A room by Dodgy.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Album:The Very Best Of Vaughn Monroe
Vaughn Monroe started out as a trumpet player. But a booming baritone voice and a desire to be an opera singer launched him to a very successful career as a singer and bandleader in the 40s. Ballerina was one of his biggest hits in 1947. He was born Oct. 7, 1911 in Akron, OH. His family moved to Wisconsin and he attended high school in the Pittsburgh suburb of Jeannette, PA. After studying at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, he started playing in regional bands like one led by Jack Marshard. By 1940, Monroe became the leader of that band. Marshard became his manager. Monroe soon signed with RCA Records and became one of their most popular artists in the 40s. Number one hits included There, I Said It Again in 1945, Let It Snow, Let it Snow in 1946, Ballerina in 1947 and Riders In The Sky and Someday in 1949. Supposedly Ballerina was Monroe's favourite record. The song was written by veteran lyricist Carl Sigman and Sidney Keith Russell. Sigman is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and wrote Ebb Tide and It's All In The Game among others. You can get all his hits on this CD from the oldies label Taragon Records. Vaughn Monroe also appeared in movies in the late 40s and hosted two TV variety shows in the early 50s. With Rock 'N' Roll becoming popular in the mid-50s, Monroe saw the writing on the wall and retired from recording in 1958. He continued to work for RCA as a spokesman and talent scout. He signed Neil Sedaka. Vaughn Monroe died on may 21, 1973 at age 71. Here's Vaughn Monroe performing Ballerina 1965.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
So a press conference was held last night to announce that former Strikeforce 145lb Champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino has signed with Invicta and will fight on their April show. You can watch the press conference below. It's pretty funny. Cyborg and manager Tito Ortiz continue to insist that she can't drop to 135 safely despite the fact that several experts have refuted that claim including renowned nutritionist Mike Dolce. The bottom line is that if she wants to fight in the UFC it has to be at 135. And of course the problem is she keeps changing her mind. So the UFC was willing to keep her under contract in case she changes her mind again. And if not, they would have farmed her out to Invicta and maybe use her a couple of years. But if she wants to fight Ronda Rousey in the near future, she has to fight at 135. Signing with Invicta doesn't change that. It just avoids it. And if she loses or gets hurt, that's why this is a one way trip to Palookaville. Fans seem to forget that Cyborg agreed to drop to 135 before she got nailed for steroids. If she hadn't got caught, she still would have had to drop to 135. At the time, I said that we don't know what kind of fighter she will be at 135. Well, she doesn't know either. And that fear of the unknown is the real problem. Well, now she doesn't have to find out...but she's not in the UFC. Of course her demands for a fight now at a catchweight were ridiculous. There is also suspicion that she is still juicing. Unless she passes hair follicle testing as suggested by Ronda Rousey's manager Darin Harvey, that cloud will follow her around for the rest of her career. Is Invicta that naive to not require her to pass a random drug test? Hmmm. So Invicta was going to have Julia Budd face Ediane Gomes and the winner was to face Marloes Coenen for a 145lb title. Now they will have Cyborg face Gomes for that title shot and Budd will face Aussie Fiona Muxlow. The funny thing is that Gomes looks jacked too so it makes me wonder if both of them are juicing. Though both fighters now live in the US, they both have that Brazilian mindset that juicing is OK. It doesn't have the same stigma that it has here. The likely end result will be a Coenen vs Cyborg rematch.
Rudresh Mahanthappa is a New York based sax player who normally plays with pianist Vijay Iyer. On the 2008 CD Kinsmen he has successfully mixed jazz with the Carnatic music of India featuring Kadri Gopalnath. The CD did very well on the World music chart. Mahanthappa was born May 4, 1971 in Trieste, Italy and grew up in Boulder, CO. He graduated from Berklee School of Music in Boston in 1992 and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Composition from DePaul University in Chicago in 1998. It was at Berklee that he first became familiar with the music of Kadri Gopalnath. What is odd about Gopalnath is he plays a traditional style of Indian music with a tenor sax. Mahanthappa went to India to work with Gopalnath and then later brought him to New York. Mahanthappa has worked frequently with pianist Vijay Iyer since 1998 and continues to work with him today. But Iyer is not on Kinsmen. This was Mahanthappa's first attempt to record with Gopalnath and the mix of the two musical worlds was very successful. Musicians include Rez Abbasi on guitar, Carlo DeRosa on bass, Royal Hartigan on drums, veteran Indian musician A. Kanyakumari on violin and Poovalur Sriji on mridangam. Mahanthappa continued the Indian influence with the formation of The Indo-Pak Coalition. He has recorded with that group and several others he works with in New York. He has also worked as a sideman with guys like Danilo Perez and Jack DeJohnette. His latest CD Gamak was released Jan. 29, 2013. Here's Rudresh Mahanthappa with the HR Big Band performing Ganesha in Germany Oct. 2011.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Here is part two of UFC Primetime featuring Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche. In this episode, Ronda's mom talks about how she got Ronda into judo. We also see that Ronda is boxing training with women's boxing pioneer Lucia Rijker. Lucia has been training Ronda since before the Sarah Kaufman fight. Lucia's boxing record is 17-0 with 14KOs and her kickboxing record is 37-0 with 25KOs. So she's a badass. She's basically retired at this point. The boxer in the ring with Ronda is also a badass. She is Aussie Diana Prazak and her record is 11-2. Ronda is also the first woman to train at the Summit Gym in Big Bear Lake, CA. They also talk about her media committments and juggling that with training. They also talk about Liz Carmouche's life as a Marine and how that got her into MMA. And of course they talk about the whole lesbian thing. Part three will be out next week.
Album:Beck, Bogert & Appice
Most music fans should be familiar with the Stevie Wonder classic Superstition from his 1974 album Talking Book. But you may not know that Wonder conceived Superstition with British guitar legend Jeff Beck and then gave it to Beck. Beck released it first with the short lived power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice. Bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice are best known for their days with Vanilla Fudge. Beck met them in 1967 and immediately wanted to work with them. He wanted to form a hard rock super trio. After two years of talking, Bogert and Appice signed a contract with Beck in Sept. 1969. But then Beck was injured in a Nov. car crash. Bogert and Appice formed Cactus and Beck formed The Jeff Beck Group. Cactus split up in early 1972 and Beck decided to add Bogert and Appice to The Jeff Beck Group. The original lineup included keyboard player Max Middleton and singer Kim Milford. After playing a few shows, Milford was replaced by Bobby Tench. They toured the US and then Middleton and Tench left. The band continued as Beck, Bogert & Appice. Then they recorded the album Beck, Bogert & Appice. Beck created the drum track for Superstition while working in the recording studio with Wonder. Wonder gave the song to Beck but Motown owner Berry Gordy insisted Wonder record it himself first. Beck played guitar on Wonder's recording of Superstition. Beck, Bogert & Appice toured in 1973 to support the album. They started to record a second album in 1974 and then split up. The album was never finished. Beck, Bogert & Appice is available as a budget CD. After the band split up, Beck turned to a more jazz rock sound. Here's Beck, Bogert & Appice performing Superstition on ABC In Concert at Santa Monica, CA May 1973.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Album:Over 60 Minutes With...Red Rider
Red Rider had success in the 80s in their native Canada but ultimately were unable to break through in the US market. Lunatic Fringe is probably their best known song. Lead singer and songwriter Tom Cochrane recorded the album Hang On To Your Resistance in 1974 to modest results. Guitarist Ken Greer formed Red Rider with Peter Boynton on keyboards, Jeff Jones on bass and Rob Baker on drums. Jones was an original member of Rush. Geddy Lee replaced him. He was also a member of Ocean (Put Your Hand In The Hand). Cochrane saw Red Rider perform at the El Mocambo in Toronto in 1978 and joined as lead vocalist. Red Rider signed with Capitol Records and their 1980 debut album Don't Fight It went Gold in Canada. White Hot was a hit in Canada but they didn't really break through in the US. Lunatic Fringe is from their 1981 album As Far As Siam. Peter Boynton left Red Rider to join Zappacosta and was replaced by Steve Sexton. When the 1984 album Neruda sold poorly, Capitol dropped Red Rider and they split up. Then Lunatic Fringe was used in the 1985 high school wrestling film Vision Quest. The soundtrack was a big seller because of Madonna's number one hit Crazy for You. The band got positive feedback for Lunatic Fringe and decided to stay together. Though many believe Cochrane wrote the song about the murder of John Lennon, Cochrane says he was concerned about the rise of anti semitism and wrote the song after reading a book about WWII hero Raoul Wallenberg who rescued Jews from The Holocaust. You can get all of Red Rider's Capitol hits on this comp. They renamed themselves as Tom Cochrane & Red Rider and signed with RCA. The 1988 song Big League became a hit in Canada when it was used on Hockey Night in Canada. But it wasn't enough and Red Rider split up in 1989. Cochrane had a successful solo run with the 1991 hit Life Is A Highway. Cochrane, Greer and Jones reformed Red Rider in 2002 and the band still tours today. Here's the video for Lunatic Fringe by Red Rider.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Song:Let's Start the Dance
Hamilton Bohannon was a Motown drummer and bandleader who stayed in Detroit when Motown moved to Los Angeles in 1972. He had some success mostly on the R & B and Dance charts in the 70s. Let's Start The Dance was his biggest hit in 1978. He was born Mar. 7, 1942 in Newnan, GA and graduated from Clark College in Atlanta with a degree in music. He became Stevie Wonder's drummer in 1964 and moved to Detroit in 1967. He led Motown's touring band Bohannon & The Motown Sound. He arranged and led the band that backed up all Motown acts when they performed live. When Motown moved to Los Angeles in 1972, Bohannon stayed in Detroit and signed with Brunswick Records' Dakar label. He recorded five funk albums for Dakar and had some Dance chart success with songs like South African Man, Foot Stompin' Music and Disco Stomp. He moved to Mercury Records in 1976 and Let's Start The Dance reached #9 on the R & B Singles chart in 1978. It was Bohannon's biggest hit. Singer Carolyn Crawford recorded for Motown in the 60s and was replaced by Anita Baker in the group Chapter 8 in 1976. After her work with Bohannon, she moved to England and is a big favourite on the Northern Soul circuit. After Bohannon left Mercury in 1979, he was never able to recreate the success of Let's Start The Dance. You can get all his Mercury hits on this comp from the British label Spectrum. Bohannon's music gets sampled a lot by hip hop guys so he can live off of songwriting royalties. He has occasionally produced other artists including his son Hamilton Bohannon II. Here's a video for Let's Start The Dance by Bohannon.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Song:Hittin' The Jug
Album:Three Classic Albums Plus
Gene "Jug" Ammons was an excellent tenor sax player who mixed bebop with Chicago blues on albums he recorded in the 50s & early 60s. His career was marred by two prison stretches for narcotics possession. And then he died prematurely in 1974. So he has been forgotten. He was born Apr. 14, 1925 in Chicago the son of legendary Boogie Woogie pianist Albert Ammons. Ammons played gigs locally while still in high school and went on the road with the King Kolax band in 1943. In 1944 he joined the Billy Eckstine band alongside Charlie Parker and later Dexter Gordon. The nickname Jug came about when straw hats were ordered for the entire Eckstine band and the hat didn't fit Ammons' head. He was also known as The Boss. When Eckstine ended his big band in 1947, Ammons led his own group for a while and then replaced Stan Getz in Woody Herman's band. In 1950 he formed a band with Sonny Stitt. Though he recorded for other labels, Ammons recorded for Prestige Records for most of his career starting in 1956. His first prison stretch was from 1958 to 1960. Hittin' The Jug is from the 1960 album Boss Tenor. This was his first album after his release from prison. Musicians are Tommy Flanagan on piano, Doug Watkins on bass, Art Taylor on drums and Ray Barretto on congas. The British label Avid Jazz has released Boss Tenor with three other Ammons albums on 2CDs. The 1958 album Blue Gene features baritone sax player Pepper Adams and pianist Mal Waldron. The 1958 album Groove Blues features John Coltrane. And the 1956 album The Happy Blues features trumpeter Art Farmer and alto sax player Jackie McLean. That's a lot of great jazz for 15 bucks. Avid releases a lot of these kind of remastered jazz comps. Ammons returned to prison in 1962 and re-signed with Prestige when he was released in 1969. Sadly he died of cancer on July 23, 1974 at age 49. Tenor sax player Joshua Redman has acknowledged Ammons as a big influence. Jazz fans should check him out. Here's a video for Hittin' The Jug by Gene Ammons.
Monday, February 11, 2013
|Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano|
Album:Brighter: A Duncan Sheik Collection
Singer songwriter Duncan Sheik had his only big chart hit with Barely Breathing in 1996. In recent years he has turned to writing Broadway musicals and won Tonys for his 2006 musical Spring Awakening. He was born Nov. 18, 1969 in Montclair, NJ and was raised by his grandparents in Hilton Head, SC. His grandmother trained at Julliard and taught him piano. After studying at Brown University in Rhode Island, he moved to Daly City, CA and in 1993 and worked with Liz and Lisa featuring Lisa Loeb and the band His Boy Elroy. He signed with Immortal Records and recorded his debut album with veteran British producer Rupert Hine. Atlantic heard the album and bought his contract from Immortal. Barely Breathing reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed on the chart for 55 weeks. Sheik won a BMI Award for Most Played Song of 1997 and was nominated for a Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammy. The album Duncan Sheik was certified Gold. Sheik was unable to repeat this success with subsequent albums and he left Atlantic in 2002. This budget comp covers his Atlantic recordings. He also recorded for Rounder/Zoe and RCA and released his latest CD Covers 80 on MRI Records in 2011. He cancelled a planned tour when he went into rehab for alcohol addiction. Sheik wrote the music for the 2006 Broadway musical Spring Awakening and won Tonys for Best Orchestration and Best Original Music. The Original Cast CD won a Grammy. He is currently working on a film adaptation with director McG. He is also working on a musical adaptation of American Psycho that is supposed to premiere on Broadway in 2013. Here's the video for Barely Breathing by Duncan Sheik.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Song:If Ever I Should Leave You
Album:Robert Goulet's Greatest Hits
Robert Goulet made his name performing in the 1960 Broadway musical Camelot. Though he never had a hit single with If Ever I Should Leave You, it was his signature song. It's likely that if Goulet had come around in the early 50s he would have had a lot of chart success. But Rock & Roll ruled by 1960. He was born Nov. 26, 1933 in Lawrence, MA. His parents were French Canadian. When his father died, the family moved to the northern Alberta town of Girouxville and then Edmonton so Goulet could study music. Then he received a scholarship to the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. A 1952 appearance on the CBC TV talent competition Pick The Stars led to other CBC appearances including the Canadian version of Howdy Doody with William Shatner. Goulet moved to New York and won the role of Lancelot in the 1960 Broadway production of Camelot. The role made him a star and he performed If Ever I Should Leave You on The Ed Sullivan Show. He signed a record contract with Columbia Records in 1962 and won the Best New Artist Grammy. His biggest hit single My Love, Forgive Me reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. But his albums did very well to an older audience through the mid-60s. You can get all his hits on this budget comp. Goulet was a regular on TV, in films and especially on stage. The stage seemed to be his first love. Robert Goulet was named to the Canadian Walk Of Fame in 2006. He died on Oct. 30, 2007 at age 73. Here's Robert Goulet performing If Ever I Should Leave You on The Ed Sullivan Show 1960.
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Song:Walking In Different Circles
Album:Where The Girls Are Vol. 4
Of course girl groups were very popular in the 60s. Goldie & The Gingerbreads may seem like a girl group but they were actually an all girl rock band. They were even on a major label. But the music business wasn't ready for an all girl rock band in 1964 and they were ultimately unsuccessful. In 1962, Genya "Goldie" Zelkowitz was lead singer of The Escorts. She spotted drummer Ginger Bianco playing in another band and decided to start an all girl rock band. They found pianist Carol O'Grady but she didn't work out and she was replaced by Margo Lewis. They found guitarist Carol MacDonald in 1964 and she was under contract to Atco Records. Goldie & The Gingerbreads were born. They released a few singles over the next few years including Walking In Different Circles in 1967 but never had a major hit. This was despite Alan Price of The Animals taking a liking to them and bringing them to England. They opened for The Animals, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Hollies. But they were never able to get a hit single. They split up in 1967 because Goldie was a very strong personality and butted heads with the other girls. Some of their songs turn up on various artists comps like this one from Ace Records. Goldie Zelkowitz changed her name to Genya Ravan and was lead singer of Ten Wheel Drive. She recorded solo in the 70s and went on to be a record producer. She currently hosts a monthly radio show for Steven Van Zandt's Underground Garage channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. The other three girls were members of the 70s all girl jazz rock band Isis. Margo Lewis went on to play keyboards for Bo Diddley and she manages his estate. Goldie & The Gingerbreads may not have been successful but they paved the way for all girl rock bands who were successful in the 70s. Here's a video for Walking In Different Circles by Goldie & The Gingerbreads.
Friday, February 08, 2013
|Mika Nagano, Emi Tomimatsu|
This is part one of UFC 157 Primetine showcasing Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche which will happen Feb. 23 at the Honda Centre in Anaheim, CA. Of course the main complaint about the show is too much Ronda and not enough Liz. People, this is just part one of a three part show. They have plenty of things to cover in the next two shows. They didn't even talk about Ronda's mom and how she got Ronda into judo. The show itself is fairly routine until the last five minutes. That there are no financial benefits for winning an Olympic medal is not exactly news. But it certainly prepared Ronda for MMA. And for those who think that all of Ronda's public appearances have caused her to slack off on her training, this shows that isn't true. She seems to be training harder and more frequently. They talk about how Liz works at the gym and answers phones among other things. Ronda did all that at Dynamix two years ago. Many fighters do exactly what Liz is doing. It's not unusual. The last five minutes are interesting because Ronda has never talked much about her father publicly. I'm not gonna tell you what she says but it's pretty emotional. So I look forward to the next two episodes. Enjoy the video.
Blue Eyed Soul has been around since the 60s. Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers was probably the first white singer that was thought to be black. Such was the case with Teena Marie courtesy of her mentor and producer Rick James. Teena was a fixture on the R & B charts in the 80s but Lovergirl was her only top five pop hit in 1984. She also wrote and produced most of her own music. She was born Mary Christine Brockert Mar. 5, 1956 in Santa Monica, CA. Her family nickname was Tina. She started performing as a child and appeared in an episode of the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies. Her family moved to an area in Los Angeles known as Black Venice and this is where she learned soul music as a teen. She was leading her own band when she met Motown house producer Hal Davis in 1976. Davis brought Brenda Holloway to Motown. They signed Teena and planned to star her in a movie. But that fell through and then Motown had to figure out what to do with her. Fortunately, Rick James spotted her and decided to work with her instead of Diana Ross. She was to be called Teena Tryson which was changed to Teena Marie. Her first top ten R & B hit I'm A Sucker For Your Love was a duet with James. Radio stations hadn't seen Teena so they thought she was black. They found out otherwise when James brought her on to Soul Train. She was the first white artist to appear on Soul Train and appeared several more times. Teena became a fixture on the R & B charts. She recorded four albums for Motown and then got into a dispute with them over upcoming releases and control. They thought they could just leave her sitting doing nothing as punishment. She got out of her contract and signed with Epic Records. Lovergirl was from her second album for Epic Starchild in 1984. It topped the Billboard Hot 100. It only reached #9 on the R & B Singles chart. Her 1986 album Emerald City strayed towards rock music and didn't do as well. But she returned to R & B with the 1988 album Naked To The World and the single Ooo La La La was her biggest R & B hit. Then Teena faded and left Epic in 1990. This Universal budget CD is the only comp that covers both Motown and Epic years reasonably well. She also gave birth to her daughter Alia Rose. In the 90s, she concentrated on raising her daughter and was unable to get a major label record deal until she signed with Cash Money in 2004. She released two CDs and then released Congo Square on Stax in 2009. It wasn't like the 80s but she did OK and she performed regularly in Las Vegas. In 2004, Teena Marie suffered a concussion when while sleeping in a hotel room, a picture frame fell on her. She continued to have seizures and one of those seizures killed her on Dec. 26, 2010 at age 54. A very shocking and tragic death. She had mostly finished a new CD. Teena's daughter Alia Rose, who sings as Rose LeBeau, finished the album and Beautiful was released last week. Here's the video for Lovergirl by Teena Marie.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Album:The Ultimate Rock & Roll Collection: The 60s
Most folks should be familiar with Shelley Fabares as an actress most recently in the 90s sitcom Coach. But in 1961 she had a number one hit with Johnny Angel while she was starring in the sitcom The Donna Reed Show. She was born Jan. 19, 1944 in Santa Monica, CA. Her aunt Nanette Fabray had been a child actor and grew up to be an accomplished musical performer. She starred in the 1953 film the Band Wagon with Fred Astaire. After appearing in a few films and TV shows, most significantly the Loretta Young Show, Shelly won the role of Mary Stone in The Donna Reed Show in 1958. The show was a big hit. Obviously influenced by Ricky Nelson, Columbia Pictures wanted to turn the teen stars of the show into pop stars. Paul Petersen had a hit with She Can't Find Her Keys. Donna Reed's husband and show executive producer Tony Owen wanted to do the same for Shelley. Colpix Records house producer Stu Phillips produced Johnny Angel and it topped the charts in 1961. Johnny Angel was written by Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss. Pockriss wrote a lot of pop songs of the era including Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. Darlene Love and The Blossoms sang backup vocals. Shelley was very intimidated by them as she didn't think of herself as a singer. After a couple of albums she quit singing and returned to acting. You can get Johnny Angel on this Collectables various artists comp. Shelley starred in three films with Elvis Presley in the 60s. She did a lot of TV guest shots in the 70s and had a recurring role in the sitcom One Day At A Time. And she starred with Craig T. Nelson in the 90s sitcom Coach. Shelley has been married to Mike Farrell of MASH since 1984. She seems to be semi retired now and has done only voiceover work in recent years. She plays Ma Kent in the Superman animated series. She underwent a liver transplant in 2000. Here's Shelley Fabares performing Johnny Angel in The Donna Reed Show 1961.
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Song:The Look Of Love (Part One)
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of ABC
The British group ABC had some success in the 80s. They were part of the New Romantic offshoot of New Wave music. New Romantic music generally came with elaborate musical arrangements. The Look Of Love was their biggest hit in England and it was also a big dance hit. ABC came from the band Vice Versa whose members included sax player Stephen Singleton and guitarist Mark White. Martin Fry interviewed the band for his fanzine Modern Drugs and they asked him to join the band. He soon took over as lead singer and the band name was changed to ABC. They went through a couple of drummers and settled on David Palmer. They signed with PolyGram in England and were on Mercury Records in the US. The 1982 album The Lexicon Of Love was produced by veteran session musician Trevor Horn, engineered by Gary Langan and arranged by Anne Dudley. They would later become The Art Of Noise. The Look Of Love reached #4 on the British Singles chart and topped the US Dance Music chart. It reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. Poison Arrow and All Of My Heart were also hits. The Lexicon Of Love topped the British album chart and was certified Gold in the US. The Look Of Love was their biggest hit in England. The Part One is because there are four versions of the song. The 1983 album Beauty Stab didn't do as well and Singleton and was replaced by Fiona Russell and David Yarritu. Their 1985 album How To Be A...Zillionaire did not do well in England but Be Near Me was their first US top ten hit. ABC's biggest US hit was When Smokey Sings in 1987. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. ABC left PolyGram in 1990 and recorded one more album for MCA before dissolving in 1991. Martin Fry and David Palmer reformed ABC for the 2004 VH1 show Bands Reunited. They recorded the 2006 CD Traffic and went out on tour. ABC still tours and Fry said last summer he plans to record a new ABC CD. I'm sure ABC brings back memories of the 80s to a lot of music fans. Here's the video for The Look Of Love (Part One) by ABC. This video is not on Youtube.
ABC - The Look of Love Remaster from wayshway on Vimeo.
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Song:Dance With Me
Album:Blame It On Gravity: Deluxe Edition
The Old 97's were at the forefront of the alt country movement of the 90s. But they were unable to break through commercially and were dropped by their record label. They returned in 2004 on a new label and they seem to be more comfortable there. Dance With Me is from their 2008 CD Blame It On Gravity. The Old 97's are from Dallas. Rhett Miller was recording a solo album in 1989 and brought in Murry Hammond to help him. After recording one album as Sleepy Heroes, they added lead guitarist Ken Bethea and drummer Philip Peeples and formed Old 97's. After releasing two CDs independently, they signed with Elektra Records and their major label debut Too Far To Care was released in 1997. Though the CD was critically acclaimed and Old 97's successfully toured with Whiskeytown, they didn't achieve the commercial success Elektra wanted and they were dropped after recording three CDs. Miller and Hammond worked on the side project The Ranchero Brothers and Miller released the solo CD The Instigator in 2002. Old 97's reunited in 2004 and signed with the New West roots music label. I don't believe the sales expectations are as high at New West. After the 2005 live CD Alive & Wired, Miller recorded another solo album. Hammond also recorded a solo album. The 2008 CD Blame It On Gravity did very well helped by the video for Dance With Me. The video pokes fun at geek fandom and features Tricia Helfer from the TV series Battlestar Galactica. The deluxe edition of Blame It On Gravity includes a bonus DVD documentary. Rhett Miller continues to alternate solo projects with Old 97's CDs. Their latest CD The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 was released in 2011 and they will tour with Drive By Truckers in March. Country rock fans should check out Old 97's. Here's the video for Dance With Me by Old 97's.
Monday, February 04, 2013
Song:A Wonderful Guy
Album:Broadway To Hollywood-And Back
Along with Ethel Merman, Mary Martin was one of the leading stage performers of the 40s and 50s. Mary was probably more versatile than Ethel. Mary's two most famous performances were in South Pacific and Peter Pan. She was born Dec. 1, 1913 in Weatherford, TX. As a child, she won talent contests by imitating Bing Crosby. That shows a good ear. She also had a photographic memory. Mary was sent to finishing school in Nashville and married her boyfriend Ben Hagman. She had a son Larry Hagman who everyone knows as JR Ewing in Dallas. She moved to Hollywood and went to plenty of auditions with little success. She got her big break when Oscar Hammerstein II saw her at an audition and brought her to the attention of Broadway producer Lawrence Schwab. She sang My Heart Belongs To Daddy in the show Leave It To Me and recorded for Brunswick and Decca. She returned to Hollywood and signed with Paramount Pictures in 1939. She appeared in films but never became a star. So when Rodgers & Hammerstein were working on Oklahoma, she gave up on films and moved back to New York. Mary appeared in plenty of hit shows. But I think most would agree that the 1949 show South Pacific was her biggest hit. Her other big hit show was Peter Pan which she produced herself. There are cast albums available but Jasmine Records has released a comprehensive overview of Mary Martin's career on 2CDs. Her final Broadway show was I Do I Do in 1966. After that she did TV guest shots and various other appearances. She even hosted a talk show for seniors on PBS in the 80s. Mary Martin died on Nov. 3, 1990 at age 76. I think a lot of folks may know a little about her because of her son. But other than that, Mary Martin was a legendary performer who is largely forgotten. Here's Mary Martin performing A Wonderful Guy in the 1952 London production of South Pacific.
Sunday, February 03, 2013
Album:Red River Blue
Blake Shelton was already a well established country music star when Honey Bee zoomed to the top of the Country Singles chart and crossed over to pop in 2011. It's his biggest hit to date. He was born June 18, 1976 in Ada, OK. He performed locally as a teen and moved to Nashville at age 17. He signed with Giant Records in 1998 and was moved to Warner Bros. when Giant was closed. His debut single Austin spent five weeks at the top of the Country Singles chart in 2001. He also had number one country hits with The Baby in 2002 and Some Beach in 2004. He also topped the charts with Home and She Wouldn't Be Gone in 2008. But the song that really cemented Shelton's stature in Nashville was the 2009 duet with Trace Adkins Hillbilly Bone in 2009. Since then he had six straight number one country hits including Honey Bee in 2011. Shelton performed Honey Bee on the ACM Awards broadcast Apr. 3, 2011 and then released it to iTunes. The success of the song surprised Shelton and producer Scott Hendricks as they were still working on Red River Blue. The CD was released in July. The song also crossed over to pop and reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Rhett Akins (That Ain't My Truck) and frequent songwriting partner Ben Hayslip. Shelton's recent success can probably be credited to his participation as a mentor on the successful TV talent show The Voice. And he married country music star Miranda Lambert in 2011. He's a decent singer but outside forces seem to have really helped his profile. Shelton released the single Sure Be Cool If You Did to iTunes on Jan. 8, 2013 so I think a new CD is coming soon. Here's the video for Honey Bee by Blake Shelton.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Song:All I Want For Christmas Is You
Album:All I Want For Christmas Is You
So I'm sure most folks are familiar with Mariah Carey's Christmas perennial All I Want For Christmas Is You. This All I Want For Christmas Is You by Vince Vance & The Valiants is a different song and a Christmas perennial in its own right. And it's the only hit single this band has had in its 40 year history. in the video, Vince Vance is the guy with the goofy haircut. His real name is Andrew John Franichevich Jr. He was born in Oakland, CA and grew up in New Orleans. He joined Vince Vance & The Valiants in 1971 as keyboard player and musical director. They were a knockoff of Sha Na Na. He became Vince Vance when the original left and the band has been a New Orleans party band since then. Their music is retro 50s Rock 'N' Roll. All I Want For Christmas Is You was first released in 1989. But when Malaco Records picked it up for distribution in 1994, it reached #55 on the Country Singles chart. It has continued to chart annually like many other Christmas songs. In this case, it helps that there is a video and that Lisa Layne delivers a really great vocal. Unfortunately, it has not been licensed to any various artists CDs but you can get it on this Vince Vance & The Valiants Christmas CD. The band has recorded four CDs and they celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2011. They're still kickin' in NOLA. Lisa Layne recorded All I Want For Christmas Is You on her own CD. Here's the video for All I Want For Christmas Is You by Vince Vance & The Valiants.
Friday, February 01, 2013
The Claudia Quintet is a very interesting jazz group led by drummer John Hollenbeck. They were formed in 1997 and a version of the band continues and the individual members also record solo. Hollenbeck was born June 19, 1968 in Binghampton, NY. He became a fixture on the New York jazz scene as a member of Bob Brookmeyer's New Art Orchestra. The Claudia Quintet came out of the ashes of a band called The Refuseniks. They named it after this girl named Claudia who came to one of their shows and claimed to be a big fan. They never saw her again and she became a running joke. Hollenbeck said he just didn't want to name it after himself. Other band members are Chris Speed on tenor sax, Matt Moran on vibes, Ted Reichman on accordion and Drew Gress on bass. The accordion is an instrument you don't normally see in jazz. Hollenbeck got that idea from playing in Klezmer bands. For the 2010 CD Royal Toast, pianist Gary Versace was added to the band. It doesn't look like he toured with them. Their most recent CD What Is The Beautiful was released Oct. 2011. Nate Wooley has replaced Reichman and pianist Matt Mitchell has been added. Hollenbeck also released a new CD Songs I Like A Lot this week. Jazz fans should check out The Claudia Quintet. Here's The Claudia Quintet performing Royal Toast at the 2009 Baltic Jazz Festival.