Archive for the ‘Blues’ Category

ZZ Top to release 10-album box set

July 14, 2013

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All 10 studio albums recorded by ZZ Top between 1970 and 1990 are to be released in a 100-track deluxe box set titled ZZ Top: The Complete Studio Albums.

The set will begin with ZZ Tops’ First Album (1971) through to 1990’s Recycler. Each album comes in a wallet sleeve featuring the original artwork.

“We’re gratified that the albums from the first 20 years of the band are going to be made available in this set,” said the band in a statement. “We’re especially delighted to note the restoration of ZZ Top’s First Album, Rio Grande Mud and Tejas.”

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New Jimi Hendrix album, ‘People, Hell and Angels’, to be released in March

February 3, 2013

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A new Jimi Hendrix album, People, Hell and Angels, is to be released in March. It will feature 12 previously unreleased tracks recorded in 1968 and 1969.

It is believed Hendrix originally planned to include the tracks on First Rays of the New Rising Sun, the planned double-album follow-up to Electric Ladyland which he was working on when he died.

The tracks are said to show he was developing “new, experimental directions” and exploring fresh diversions from his legendary guitarwork.

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Read more stories about the stars of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s HERE…

R&B legends Etta James and Johnny Otis die within days of each other

January 21, 2012

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Legendary R&B singer Etta James, best known for her versions of ‘At Last’, ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ and Muddy Waters’ ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’, died on 20 January 2012, aged 73. She had been undergoing treatment for leukaemia.

Coincidentally, the man who discovered her – bandleader Johnny Otis – died a few days earlier on 17 January 2012, aged 90. Dubbed the “godfather of rhythm and blues”, Otis was best known for his 1958 hit ‘Willie and the Hand Jive’.

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Jimi Hendrix app launched to provide a complete ‘Hendrix Experience’

November 19, 2011

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Jimi Hendrix: The Complete Experience is now available as a free app for the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

The app is being offered as “Your backstage pass to explore and learn all about the music, life and career of the legendary Jimi Hendrix”.

Launched to coincide with what would have been the guitarist’s 69th birthday on November 27, the app enables fans to explore interactive chapters of Hendrix’s legacy through text, images and video.

Listeners can browse through the full collection of Hendrix’s albums, read about documentaries, live performances and other films about Hendrix, and also download music content directly from iTunes.

Watch a video about the app and read the full story HERE…

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Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters anniversaries inspire new ‘100 Years of the Blues’ box set

November 16, 2011

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A superb new 4CD box set, titled 100 Years of the Blues, has been released to celebrate the centenary of Robert Johnson’s birth, and also to mark the 60th anniversary of Muddy Waters’ first recording sessions on Stovall’s Cotton Plantation in Mississippi.

The set comprises 91 tracks and traces the story of the blues from the early 20th century right up to the present day.

It comes with a 126-page book and detailed liner notes that describe each stage in the evolution of the blues.

Each CD covers a different era of the blues: Pre War Blues, Urban Blues, The Sixties and Modern Day Blues.

Watch a video and READ THE FULL STORY HERE…

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John Mayall returns to UK for autumn 2011 tour

October 4, 2011

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John Mayall, hailed by many as the ‘Godfather of British blues’, is set to return to the UK this autumn for a 25-date tour.

The opening show will be on 25 October 2011 at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, and the tour will end at the Coliseum in Watford on 18 November 2011.

Having disbanded the legendary Bluesbreakers in November 2008, Mayall will be touring with the American musicians who worked with him on his 57th official album, Tough, in 2009.

READ THE FULL STORY (INCLUDING TOUR DATES) HERE…

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Eric Clapton celebrates as Layla turns 40

July 3, 2011

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IT’S HARD to believe, but Layla – with all her timeless beauty and raw emotion – turns 40 this year.

   In August 1970, Derek & The Dominos (alias Eric Clapton, keyboardist/singer Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon) teamed up with legendary producer Tom Dowd in a Miami studio – fortuitously bumping into guitarist Duane Allman in the same building – and created one of the most revered albums in rock history: Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs.

   Often regarded as Eric Clapton’s greatest musical achievement, the album broke new ground by blending British rock, electric blues and Southern gospel.

   The double slide-guitar work of Clapton and Allman would go on to define the famous title track as one of the greatest rock guitar anthems, recorded only a few months before Allman died in a motorcycle accident.

   In August, Eric Clapton is celebrating the short-lived band’s classic double-album with the release of several 40th anniversary commemorative editions.

   There is a remastered single-CD edition of the original album, a two-LP remastered vinyl edition, and a two-disc Deluxe Edition featuring original album tracks and previously unreleased material.

   A Super Deluxe Edition includes the original double album in both digital and vinyl formats, along with a remastered CD of Derek and the Dominos: In Concert, pop-up 3D artwork, and an exclusive hardback book of photographs, essays and new interviews.

   Clapton originally wrote ‘Layla’ as a ballad, with lyrics describing his love for Pattie Boyd. But the song became a ‘rocker’ when Duane Allman reportedly helped to compose the song’s signature riff.

   With the band assembled and Tom Dowd producing, ‘Layla’ was recorded in its original form. The recording consisted of six guitar tracks: a rhythm track by Clapton, three tracks of harmonies played by Clapton against the main riff, a track of slide guitar by Allman, and one track with both Allman and Clapton playing duplicate solos.

   Shortly afterward, Clapton returned to the studio and overheard Jim Gordon playing a piano piece he had composed separately. Clapton, impressed by the piece, convinced Gordon to allow it to be used as part of ‘Layla’. It famously became the song’s ‘second movement’ and was recorded roughly a week after the first – with Gordon playing his piano part, Clapton playing acoustic guitar and slide guitar, and Allman playing electric and bottleneck slide guitar.

   After Dowd spliced the two movements together, ‘Layla’ was complete… and a piece of music history was born.

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Rock guitarist Gary Moore dies at 58

February 7, 2011

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Renowned rock guitarist Gary Moore has died in a hotel room while on holiday in Spain. He was 58.

  Belfast-born Moore’s career spanned blues, hard rock and ballads, including several spells with Thin Lizzy and a highly-acclaimed solo career that included 20 studio albums. He also enjoyed UK chart success alongside the late Phil Lynott with the singles ‘Parisienne Walkways’ (1979) and ‘Out In The Fields’ (1985).

  Moore received critical acclaim for his work on Thin Lizzy’s 1974 album Nightlife, but he felt constrained by the group format and launched a solo career. He returned to Thin Lizzy briefly on two occasions in the late 1970s.

  Moore was first drafted into Thin Lizzy by Phil Lynott in 1973, following the departure of guitarist Eric Bell. On hearing the news of Moore’s death, Bell told the BBC: “I still can’t believe it. He wasn’t a rock casualty. He was a healthy guy.”

  Guitarist Scott Gorham – the other half of Thin Lizzy’s distinctive twin lead guitar harmony sound – said it been a pleasure to share a stage with Moore. “Playing with Gary during the Black Rose era was a great experience,” he said. “He was a great player and a great guy. I will miss him.”

Born Robert William Gary Moore on 4 April 1952, he started performing at a young age, having picked up a battered acoustic guitar at the age of eight. He got his first good-quality guitar when he was 14 and learnt to play the right-handed instrument in the standard way despite being left-handed.

  Moore’s early musical influences were artists such as Albert King, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. After seeing Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green in his home town of Belfast, he started to develop his own style of blues-rock that would come to dominate his career.

  He was only 16 when he moved from Belfast to Dublin in 1969 to join Irish group Skid Row which featured Phil Lynott on lead vocals.

  Lynott asked Moore to join Thin Lizzy in 1973. The guitarist initially played with the group for only a few months, but he returned in 1977 and then again in 1979, staying long enough to play on the band’s landmark album Black Rose: A Rock Legend, which reached number two on the UK album chart.

  Moore released his first solo album, Grinding Stone, in 1973 under the name “The Gary Moore Band”. In 1978, the combination of Moore’s emotive blues-based guitar and Phil Lynott’s distinctive voice produced the classic single ‘Parisienne Walkways’, which reached Number 8 on the UK singles chart in April 1979.

  After a series of successful rock records in the 1980s, Moore returned to the blues with Still Got the Blues (1990), which featured contributions from Albert King, Albert Collins and George Harrison. He stuck with the blues format until 1997, when he experimented with modern dance beats on Dark Days in Paradise. He returned to his tried and tested blues roots in 2001 with Back to the Blues, followed by Power of the Blues (2004), Old New Ballads Blues (2006), Close As You Get (2007) and Bad For You Baby (2008).

  Gary Moore died in the early hours of 6 February 2011, while on holiday in Estepona, Spain.

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‘West Coast Seattle Boy’ to spearhead more deluxe Jimi Hendrix reissues in October

August 13, 2010

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Forty years after Jimi Hendrix’s untimely death, a brand new 4CD set titled West Coast Seattle Boy – a compilation of demos, alternate takes and previously unreleased recordings – will spearhead a second wave of deluxe Hendrix reissues this autumn.

Following a first round of reissues and rarities earlier this year, the Hendrix Estate and Sony Music have announced plans to release three new albums in October based on Hendrix’s Woodstock performance and tracks from his UK television and radio appearances.

The album titles are Jimi Hendrix: Blues; Jimi Hendrix Experience: BBC Sessions; and Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock.

Jimi Hendrix: Blues is a collection of blues classics and originals which was first released in 1994. The new version will contain extra DVD material, including extended footage from Martin Scorsese’s tribute to Hendrix in his acclaimed documentary The Blues.

Jimi Hendrix Experience: BBC Sessions will include a previously unreleased performance of ‘Burning of the Midnight Lamp’ from a 1967 episode of Top of the Pops. The album will also come with a DVD containing some of Hendrix’s legendary BBC TV appearances, including his unscheduled version of Cream’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ on Happening For Lulu.

The West Coast Seattle Boy album will include a new Hendrix documentary by director Bob Smeaton.

The Live at Woodstock reissue will be an updated version of MCA’s 1999 release of Hendrix’s legendary Woodstock concert on 18 August, 1969.

There will also be a festive Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year EP which includes a medley of ‘Little Drummer Boy’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Auld Lang Syne’. It will be available on CD and as a seven-inch vinyl picture disc.

Sony Music’s series of deluxe Hendrix reissues began earlier this year with the release of Valleys of Neptune, a collection of unreleased Hendrix studio recordings that included the psychedelic title track.

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