Tuesday, June 27, 2017

CD Review: New Live Albums From King Crimson And iCon, Plus New Prog-Rock From Hedersleben

To celebrate the music of their friend David Bowie and to support their current North American tour, progressive rock band King Crimson released a new 5-song live EP titled "Heroes - Live in Europe 2016." The album features 4 songs recorded live in Berlin 2016 when the band were on their European tour. The new release kicks off with a spot on cover of Bowie's "Heroes," which leads into a 10-minute version of their 1973 song "Easy Money" as the music just glides along. The set continues with an edited version of the fan-favorite "Starless," before closing with the drum solo titled "The Hell Hounds Of Krim" and a radio edit of their "Heroes" single. A full live album from the band's 2016 European tour will be released later this year. For more information about King Crimson's "Heroes" EP, please visit schizoidshop.com.

Founding members of the band Asia, John Wetton and Geoff Downes collaborated first in 2002, recording an album under the new name iCon. They recorded 3 full-length albums and an EP in 7 years. A 2009 iCon concert was planned on being the premier release on Epicon Records and was approved by Wetton in January, just prior to his passing. It was recorded at St. Mary-le-Bow church in London, England and features 19 songs that cover the duo's entire career through iCon, along with Asia and King Crimson. A DVD of the show has only been available online under the artists' website, but now gets expanded with 2CDs.  

 The new 2CD/DVD set begins with the Asia classics "Countdown To Zero" and "Go." They end up touching upon the band's new album "Icon 3" with the songs "Twice The Man I Was" and "Don't Go Out Tonight," but seem to find more common ground with their audience with the Asia songs "True Colors" and "Heat Of The Moment." Wetton and Downes showcase their brilliance on the King Crimson classic "Starless" and the show closer "Rock And Roll Dream." To find out more about iCon and their new deluxe edition of "Urban Psalm Live," please visit cherryred.co.uk.

The San Francisco-based band, Hedersleben recently released their 4th studio album titled "Orbit" through Purple Pyramid Records. Each of the band's first three albums have featured a different lead singer and this time around it is Alicia Previn (daughter of world famous conductor Andre Previn) taking on the lead vocals. While the majority of the tracks center around the musicianship within the band as they begin your journey with the six-minute epic sounding "Judas Star." Then they continue with a heavier progressive rock sound on "Walk Above The Clouds," before delivering the atmospheric space rock of "Distant Sun." Previn's angelic vocals highlights the gentle flow of "Hedersleben (Dreamlike)," before the band finish the new album with the hard edge, seventies rock feel of "Be There" and the gentle nature of "Perigree." To find out more about Hedersleben and their latest release "Orbit," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/HederslebenBand.

Monday, June 26, 2017

RJ Podcast: The Outlaws' Henry Paul Talks About How Much Fun He Is Having Performing Live These Days

Henry Paul of The Outlaws discusses how great it is performing live and about the release of The Outlaws latest live album "Legacy Live." Also, about the possibility of a new studio album from The Outlaws arriving soon. The Outlaws will be performing at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT on June 30.

CD Review: Flash Back With These New Releases From Captain Beyond, Anthony Phillips & "Tonite Let's Make Love In London"

The sixties British documentary "Tonite Let's All Make Love In London" was a sign of the times in swinging London, England 50 years ago. While the movie may have opened many eyes to what was happening in the clubs of London, the soundtrack was also as ground-breaking. It featured music by Chris Farlowe, the Small Faces and a little known new band The Pink Floyd. The soundtrack featured some of the first studio recordings of Pink Floyd as well as Chris Farlowe's original version of "Out Of Time" (made popular by The Rolling Stones). Mixed in between the music was interviews with celebrities like Mick Jagger, Michael Caine and Julie Christie, describing what they thought of the sixties London scene. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the "Tonite Let's All Make Love In London" soundtrack, Immediate Records is releasing a newly remastered version of the soundtrack on CD and on pink vinyl. To find out more about this new release, please visit immediate-records.com. 

Space rock supergroup Captain Beyond took the music world by storm in the seventies, releasing 3 studio albums in 5 years. The band, consisting of members of Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly and The Johnny Winter Band, was asked by Duane Allman, after hearing their demo, to join the Allman Brothers Band label Capricorn Records. Now, for the first time, those demos from the band's first album are being released on CD and limited edition red color vinyl.

The new 10-song release begins with a song that did not appear on any Captain Beyond album, "Uranus Highway," which sounds like if The Allman Brothers Band became a progressive rock band. The demos sound very clean for being buried for over 45 years. Songs like "I Can't Feel Nothing" and "Ragin River Of Fear" showcase the potential this band had as they combines elements of hard rock, southern rock and progressive rock to give music a unique, original sound. To find out more about Captain Beyond and the latest release "Lost & Found 1972-1973," please visit cleorecs.com. 

British singer/songwriter/guitarist Anthony Phillips was one of the founding members of the band Genesis. After the band's second album "Trespass," Phillips left to concentrate on his solo career. He released his first solo album in 1977 and continues to this day to recording music for albums, television and movies. Cherry Red Records label, Esoteric Recordings, is revisiting one of Phllips' albums for a new 2CD/DVD deluxe edition. The album, "Slow Dance" was originally released in 1990 and features 2 instrumental tracks, "Slow Dance (Part 1 & Part 2)." The music showcased Phillips range as a musician, mixing rock and orchestral music to create a classical suite, but Phillips felt that the album was unfinished. 

The new deluxe edition of the "Slow Dance" album features the original music re-mixed and remastered on the first disc. The second disc consists of "Slow Dance Vignettes" that were recorded in the studio to help with the ideas of the full "Slow Dance" rock suite. With the alternate mix of "No Way Out" and the addition of the "Clarinet Sleigh Ride," you can image how different the "Slow Dance" album could have sounded. The DVD features the original "Slow Dance" album in 5.1 surround sound, along with the original stereo mix of the album. To find out more about Anthony Phillips and his latest expanded deluxe edition of "Slow Dance," pleased visit cherryred.co.uk.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

CD Review: Two New Releases Center Around Seventies Rock Band Big Star

Seventies rockers Big Star were a huge influence to many of the alternative bands of the eighties and nineties. Their three seventies studio albums have become cult classics and turn the band into one of the greatest hidden gems in rock music. On June 16, the Concord Music Group in association with Stax Records released "The Best Of Big Star," a collection of 16-songs from their seventies output. While many of the songs on this release may not be considered hits, each one showcases a different aspect of the band.

Beginning with the pop/rock of "In The Street" and continuing with the garage rock of "Don't Lie To Me," you know that Big Star can rock. They can also perform the acoustic folk storytelling of "Thirteen" and the starkness of "I'm In Love With A Girl," which also showcases their beautiful songwriting. Their sound progressed with the addition of a string section on the ballad "Take Care," while still rocking with "Back Of A Car" and delivering the ultimate message with "Thank You Friends." To find out more about "The Best Of Big Star," please visit concordmusicgroup.com.

Less than a month later we get the earliest known recordings of Big Star founding member Chris Bell in a new compilation titled "Looking Forward: The Roots Of Big Star." This new release will be available on July 7th through Omnivore Recordings and features 22-tracks (6 previously unreleased) of Bell's work with his early bands, Rock City, Christmas Future, Icewater and The Wallabys.

You can hear the early British rock influence on songs like "My Life Is Right" and "Feeling High." The psychedelic rock of Icewater's "Looking Forward" and Bell's solo "Psychdelic Stuff" showcases his love for experimenting with his sound, outside of what's popular. You can hear the early roots of Big Star in the up-tempo rock of "A Chance To Live" and "Lovely Lady." The hidden gem on this release is the Tom Eubanks original "Shine On Me," which sounds like seventies gold, while the country acoustics of "Try Again" showcases Bell's beautiful songwriting. To find out more about the new compilation "Looking Forward: The Roots Of Big Star," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

CD Review: Relive The Glory Days Of Punk/Ska With New Albums From Goldfinger & Anti-Nowhere League

American punk/ska band Goldfinger are preparing to release their 7th studio album titled "The Knife" on July 21st through Rise Records. It will be the band's first full length album in almost a decade as Goldfinger almost abandoned releasing albums altogether. This new release also includes Blink-182 drummer Travis Baker on all tracks except one, which features Twenty-One Pilots drummer Josh Dun. The new 13-song album begins with the high energy, punk flow of "A Million Miles" and the ska feel of "Get What I Need," as lead vocalist John Feldmann brings familiarity to the songs. Goldfinger play around with the fact that they've been around for over 20 years with the fun lyrics of "Am I Deaf," then deliver the deep reggae/ska groove of "Tijuana Sunrise." The album's lead single, "Put The Knife Away" showcases the band's energy and they still have fun with their music as in "Orthodontist Girl" and "Liftoff." Goldfinger will be performing on a few west coast shows of the Vans Warped Tour. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about their new album "The Knife," please visit goldfingermusic.com.


English punk band Anti-Nowhere League are quickly following up their 2016 album "The Cage" with another new album filled with cover songs. The new release titled "League Style!" takes ten reggae classics from the Tojan music catalogue and adds their own spin to the music. Anti-Nowhere League founder and frontman Animal is a fan of this style of music and the band had dedicated years into creating this album. It begins with the thick reggae backbeat of "Johnny Two Bad" as Anti-Nowhere League inject an extra boost of energy into this 1972 classic. They turn "Singer Man" and "Love Of The Common People" into punk anthems with a classic appeal. They fully capture the reggae spirit of "Long Shot Kick De Bucket," before finishing with their cover of The Tremeloes' 1970 single "Me & My Life." To find out more about Anti-Nowhere League and their latest release "League Style," please visit antinowhereleague.com.