Category Archives: Music News

Chandler Travis Philharmonic Posts a Video Message to Trump

By Fred Mills

Nobody’s going to accuse brainy, eclectic weirdo Chandler Travis of resting on his laurels (or fertilizing his laurels, take your pick). The self-described “king of the world” has never made an uninteresting record, his twisted brand of (what I almost hesitate to describe as) Americana encompassing the entirety of the Great Songbook – and then some. His latest album: Waving Kissyhead Vol. 1 and 2.

He’s not shy about social and political statements, either, and with his Chandler Travis Philharmonic he recently got in the van, headed to DC, and filmed a special message to the President. Check ’em out in front of the White House and Lincoln Memorial in the resulting video. The Salvation Army Band ain’t got nothin’ on these folks. (Fun hint: turn the YouTube subtitles/caption function on.) Good luck, everybody.

5LP + DVD Holger Czukay Box Set Due in March

By Blurt Staff

On March 23rd, keeper-of-the-krautrock-flame Groenland will be releasing Cinema, an overview of Holger Czukay’s solo work and collaboration. Included will be Canaxis 5 (1969), Movies (1979), On The Way To The Peak Of Normal (1981), Full Circle (1982), Der Osten Ist Rot (1984), Rome Remains Rome (1987) and Radio Wave Surfer (1991). This five-LP set features a 36-page booklet, DVD of a movie starring Czukay for which he also made the soundtrack as well as a “vinyl video.”

It ain’t cheap – $135. (Peak of Normal was reissued on vinyl not long ago, incidentally.) But to have all of this under one cover isn’t a bad way to get  your springtime record collecting off to a nice start….

Incoming: Brigid Mae Power’s “The Two Worlds” / Listen to New Song

Quite possibly the most moving song of the still-young new year…

By Fred Mills

Due Feb. 9 via esteemed roots/folk/archival label Tompkins Square: The Two Worlds, from Irish singer-songwriter Brigid Mae Power, whose 2016 eponymous debut notched acclaim throughout the UK (including the tastemakers at Mojo and Uncut), additionally making Stateside inroads. Here’s the utterly stunning first single from the new album, “Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely),” which is remarkably appropriate for the times we find ourselves in:

We’ll leave it to Power to fill out the rest of the brief about this chilling song and the new album, which was produced by Peter Broderick:

Most of these songs were written in the last year in Ireland and they’re all about the different feelings I had at the time. Last year I moved back to Galway, Ireland where I mostly grew up and I was feeling and noticing again the repressive and oppressive environment. So I revisited a song I had half written a few years previous called ‘Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely)’ and I found that moving home, I had the ammunition to finish it. I had actually tried to record this song in Portland, Oregon the previous year but at the time it just did not work. It was the wrong atmosphere, it was summer and a sunny day and just was not repressive enough in the way that it can be here! So I didn’t really feel real singing it as I didn’t feel held back at all! It felt like singing to a brick wall and it wasn’t going anywhere… So when I moved back I had the idea to go up to an analogue studio in the North of Ireland and specifically record that song there, so we booked in some time at the studio and I hurried to finish some other scraps of songs I had lying around with the idea of recording them live and just seeing what happened.

I had been thinking about my Grandmother a lot, so there are a couple of songs about her.. I’d been thinking about lost friendships. I’d been thinking about how to balance being settled and also being up in the clouds. I’d been thinking a lot about cutting out the crap and letting go of things that don’t serve you, so I feel like these songs are pretty direct. I wanted them to sound direct too and the studio Analogue Catalogue was the perfect place and had a great sound and live room…. When we went up there the second time to record the other batch of songs, it was a very busy time in our life and I hadn’t finished writing the lyrics to a lot of them. Not as a choice – I just literally didn’t have time. So when we got there I thought I would just try them out anyway and as a natural procrastinator I was much happier with the sound of the result of being pushed to the last minute. Peter added in different instruments really naturally and then mixed and mastered the record. ‘I’m Grateful’ was written in Oregon and for me I can tell that it wasn’t written in Ireland. The rest of the album feels quite like what my environment looks like here at the moment out of my window.

 

Savannah Stopover Festival Heating Up for March

By Blurt Staff

What would YOU say to a bill that included, among many bands, Of Montreal, Pylon Reenactment Society (recently reviewed at BLURT) ,  Wild Child, Larkin Poe, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, David Barbe & Inward Dream Ebb, Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics, and—just to single out a band that hails from the BLURT editorial penthouse’s back yard of Asheville, NC—the Jon Stickley Trio?

Assuming you, like us, would say, “Huzzah!” then this post’s for you. The Savanna Stopover music festival takes place March 8-10 in Savannah (duh!), Georgia, and they’ve announced all the above artists and plenty more — with additional acts to be announced as well. Among those rumored to be in the mix: Kemba, Nikki Lane, Yonatan Gat, Lilly Hiatt, Vita and the Woolf, Grace Joyner, and Caroline Rose.

Stay tuned on January 18 for the full announcement, and here are the links you need to keep bookmarked:

Savannah Stopover official site & lineups: http://www.savannahstopover.com/

Ticket Details: http://www.savannahstopover.com/tickets/

Schedules by Day: http://www.savannahstopover.com/bands-by-day/

 

Motörhead/Fastway Guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke 1950-2018 R.I.P.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by JOHN ROGERS/REX/Shutterstock (91734d)
MOTORHEAD
Motorhead – 1982

Seminal heavy metal axeman was 67.

By Blurt Staff

The rock world has unexpectedly lost another icon: ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, at the age of 67, after entering a British hospital for pneumonia, according to the BBC. The Motorhead guitarist served up the speed riffs from 1976-82 over the course of the iconic band’s first six albums, and later went on to co-found Fastway.

According to a posting at Motorhead’s Facebook page:

We are devastated to pass on the news we only just heard ourselves earlier tonight…Edward Allan Clarke – or as we all know and love him Fast Eddie Clarke – passed away peacefully yesterday. Ted Carroll (who formed Chiswick Records) made the sad announcement via his FB page, having heard from Doug Smith that Fast Eddie passed peacefully in hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia…

Phil Campbell said, “JUST HEARD THE SAD NEWS THAT FAST EDDIE CLARKE HAS PASSED AWAY. SUCH A SHOCK, HE WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR HIS ICONIC RIFFS AND WAS A TRUE ROCK N ROLLER. RIP EDDIE.”

Mikkey Dee said, ““OH MY FUCKING GOD, THIS IS TERRIBLE NEWS, THE LAST OF THE THREE AMIGOS. I SAW EDDIE NOT TOO LONG AGO AND HE WAS IN GREAT SHAPE. SO THIS IS A COMPLETE SHOCK. ME AND EDDIE ALWAYS HIT IT OFF GREAT. I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING HIM IN THE UK THIS SUMMER WHEN WE COME AROUND WITH THE SCORPS…NOW LEM AND PHILTHY CAN JAM WITH EDDIE AGAIN, AND IF YOU LISTEN CAREFULLY I’M SURE YOU’LL HEAR THEM, SO WATCH OUT!!! MY THOUGHTS GO OUT TO EDDIE’S FAMILY AND CLOSE ONES.”

Fast Eddie…keep roaring, rockin’ and rollin’ up there as goddamit man, your Motörfamily would expect nothing less!!!

RIP FAST EDDIE CLARKE 5th October 1950 – 10th January 2018

This brings the surviving membership of original Motorhead members to zero; bassist Lemmy

2018 Blues Music Awards Nominees Announced

Taj Mahal, Rory Block, Kenny Wayne Shepherd,k Mavis Staples, Keb’ Mo’, N. Mississippi Allstars, and more are among this year’s nominees.

By Blurt Staff

The nominations are locked in, and the winners will be announced at the Blues Foundation’s annual blowout, this year on May 10th In Memphis. The Blues Foundation will present the 39th Annual Blues Music Awards that day at 7 p.m. at The Memphis Cook Convention Center. Full details are here – below is the full list of nominees.

Meanwhile, check out the BLURT-Schoolkids Records recent feature on how to build a Blues record collection, whether you’re a newbie or an aficionado.

Acoustic Album of the Year
Catfish Keith – Mississippi River Blues
Doug MacLeod – Break the Chain
Guy Davis & Fabrizio Poggi – Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train
Harrison Kennedy – Who U Tellin’?
Mitch Woods – Friends Along The Way
Rory Block – Keepin’ Outta Trouble
Acoustic Artist
Doug McLeod
Guy Davis
Harrison Kennedy
Rory Block
Taj Mahal
Album of the Year
Don Bryant – Don’t Give Up on Love
Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter – Right Place, Right Time
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – Groovin’ In Greaseland
TajMo – TajMo
Wee Willie Walker & The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra – After a While
Band of the Year
The Cash Box Kings
Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter
Nick Moss Band
North Mississippi All-Stars
Rick Estrin & the Nightcats
B.B. King Entertainer of the Year
Bobby Rush
Michael Ledbetter
Rick Estrin
Sugaray Rayford
Taj Mahal
Best Emerging Artist Album
Altered Five Blues Band – Charmed & Dangerous
Larkin Poe – Peach
Miss Freddye – Lady of the Blues
R.L. Boyce – Roll and Tumble
Southern Avenue – Southern Avenue
Tas Cru – Simmered & Stewed
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year
Beth Hart – Fire on the Floor
Corey Dennison Band – Night After Night
Ronnie Baker Brooks – Times Have Changed
Selwyn Birchwood – Pick Your Poison
TajMo – TajMo
Contemporary Blues Female Artist
Beth Hart
Karen Lovely
Samantha Fish
Shemekia Copeland
Vanessa Collier
Contemporary Blues Male Artist
Keb’ Mo’
Michael Ledbetter
Ronnie Baker Brooks
Selwyn Birchwood
Toronzo Cannon
Historical Album of the Year
Jimmy Reed, Mr. Luck: The Complete Vee-Jay Singles – Craft Recordings
John Lee Hooker, King of the Boogie – Craft Recordings
Luther Allison, A Legend Never Dies – Ruf Records
The Paul deLay Band, Live at Notodden ’97 – Little Village Foundation
Various, American Epic: The Collection – Sony Legacy
Instrumental-Bass
Benny Turner
Bob Stroger
Larry Fulcher
Michael “Mudcat” Ward
Patrick Rynn
Instrumentalist-Drums
Jimi Bott
June Core
Kenny Smith
Tom Hambridge
Tony Braunagel
Instrumentalist-Guitar
Anson Funderburgh
Chris Cain
Christoffer “Kid” Andersen
Monster Mike Welch
Ronnie Earl
Instrumentalist-Harmonica
Billy Branch
Dennis Gruenling
Jason Ricci
Kim Wilson
Rick Estrin
Instrumentalist-Horn
Al Basile
Jimmy Carpenter
Nancy Wright
Trombone Shorty
Vanessa Collier
Instrumentalist- Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Anthony Geraci
Henry Gray
Jim Pugh
Mitch Woods
Victor Wainwright
Instrumentalist – Vocals
Beth Hart
Don Bryant
John Németh
Michael Ledbetter
Sugaray Rayford
Wee Willie Walker
Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)
Annika Chambers
Diunna Greenleaf
Janiva Magness
Miss Freddye
Ruthie Foster
Rock Blues Album of the Year
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band – Lay It On Down
Mike Zito – Make Blues Not War
North Mississippi Allstars – Prayer for Peace
Savoy Brown – Witchy Feelin’
Walter Trout – We’re All In This Together
Rock Blues Artist
Eric Gales
Jason Ricci
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Mike Zito
Walter Trout
Song of the Year
“The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere” – written by Rick Estrin
“Don’t Give Up On Love” – written by Scott Bomar and Don Bryant
“Don’t Leave Me Here” – written by Kevin R. Moore, Taj Mahal, and Gary Nicholson
“Hate Take a Holiday” – written by Willie Walker, Anthony Paule, and Ernie Williams
“Prayer for Peace” – written by Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson, and Oteil Burbridge
Soul Blues Album of the Year
Don Bryant – Don’t Give Up on Love
Johnny Rawls – Waiting for the Train
Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm – Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm
Sugaray Rayford – The World That We Live In
Wee Willie Walker & The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra – After a While
Soul Blues Female Artist
Bettye LaVette
Denise LaSalle
Mavis Staples
Trudy Lynn
Vaneese Thomas
Soul Blues Male Artist
Curtis Salgado
Don Bryant
Johnny Rawls
Sugaray Rayford
William Bell
Wee Willie Walker
Traditional Blues Album of the Year
The Cash Box Kings – Royal Mint
Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio – Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio
Kim Wilson – Blues and Boogie Vol. 1
Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter – Right Place, Right Time
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – Groovin’ In Greaseland
Various Artists – Howlin’ At Greaseland
Traditional Blues Female Artist
Annika Chambers
Diunna Greenleaf
Janiva Magness
Miss Freddye
Ruthie Foster
Traditional Blues Male Artist
John Primer
Kim Wilson
Lurrie Bell
R.L. Boyce
Rick Estrin

A “Twin” Message From Car Seat Headrest

By Blurt Staff

Inscrutably enough, Will Toledo’s 2011 album ‘Twin Fantasy’, has been re-recorded and re-imagined for release on February 16th via Matador. Yeah, us neither. But Car Seat Headrest fans are already having seizures on social media, and there’s already a new video for the track “Nervous Young Humans” here so lucky for them, we’ve got the scoop. Here’s what Peyton Thomas reports to the media:

Toledo always knew he would return to ‘Twin Fantasy’. He never did complete the work. Not really. Never could square his grand ambitions against his mechanical limitations. Listen to his first attempt, recorded at nineteen on a cheap laptop, and you’ll hear what Brian Eno fondly calls “the sound of failure” – thrilling, extraordinary, and singularly compelling failure. Will’s first love, rendered in the vivid teenage viscera of stolen gin, bruised shins, and weird sex, was an event too momentous for the medium assigned to record it.

Even so, even awkward and amateurish, ‘Twin Fantasy’ is deeply, truly adored. Legions of reverent listeners carve rituals out of it: sobbing over “Famous Prophets,” making out to “Cute Thing,” dancing their asses off as “Bodys” climbs higher, higher. The distortion hardly matters. You can hear him just fine. You can hear everything. And you can feel everything: his hope, his despair, his wild overjoy. He’s trusting you – plural you, thousands of you – with the things he can’t say out loud. “I pretended I was drunk when I came out to my friends,” he sings – and then, caught between truths, backtracks: “I never came out to my friends. We were all on Skype, and I laughed and changed the subject.”

You might be imagining an extended diary entry, an angsty transmission from a bygone LiveJournal set to power chords and cranked to eleven. You would be wrong. ‘Twin Fantasy’is not a monologue. ‘Twin Fantasy’ is a conversation. “You know,” he sings, “that I’m mostly singing about you.” This is Will’s greatest strength as a songwriter ; he spins his own story, but he’s always telling yours, too. Between nods to local details – Harper’s Ferry, The Yellow Wallpaper, the Monopoly board collecting dust in his back seat – he leaves room for the fragile stuff of your own life, your own loves. From the very beginning, alone in his bedroom, in his last weeks of high school, he knew he was writing anthems. Someday, he hoped, you and I might sing these words back to him.

“It was never a finished work,” Toledo says, “and it wasn’t until last year that I figured out how to finish it.” He has, now, the benefit of a bigger budget, a full band in fine form, and endless time to tinker. According to him, it took eight months of mixing just to get the drums right. But this is no shallow second take, sanitized in studio and scrubbed of feeling. This is the album he always wanted to make. It sounds the way he always wanted it to sound.

It’s been hard, stepping into the shoes of his teenage self, walking back to painful places. There are lyrics he wouldn’t write again, an especially sad song he regards as an albatross. But even as he carries the weight of that younger, wounded Toledo, he moves forward. He grows. He revises, gently, the songs we love so much. In the album’s final moments, in those “apologies to future me’s and you’s,” there is more forgiveness than fury.

This, Toledo says, is the most vital difference between the old and the new: he no longer sees his own story as a tragedy.

He’s not alone no more.

Watch Bluesy-Sultry New Erica Blinn Video

Album arrives Feb. 16.

By Blurt Staff

A few years ago we reviewed Nashville-by-way-of-Ohio rocker Erica Blinn’s masterful Lovers in the Dust album, our own Lee Zimmerman enthusing, “Blinn packs enough smoldering sensuality into her material to light up a football stadium.” Amen to that.

Now she’s set to release Better than Gold, on the Curry House label, as previously. Check out the awesome new single and video:

According to the label, of the new record, “It was her third time working with producer/engineer Mike Landolt (Maroon 5, Blues Traveler), but her first time recording in Nashville, TN. Blinn relocated from her hometown of Columbus, OH to the incredible music community of East Nashville, TN in the Fall of 2015.

Adds Blinn, “About half of the record was done in Columbus [OH] and about half of it in Nashville. This album features a lot of the new friends we’ve made in Nashville, but the most special part for me was having my Dad in the studio. He came up with the bass part for ‘Suzie’ and drove down to Nashville to play it on the record.”

The aforementioned track’s origins a night of fun at a gig and a bottle of tequila, remembers Blinn. “I was heading into the bathroom when I heard a guy say, ‘Hey! When I’m with Suzie, I do what I want!’ I immediately went home and made up almost the whole song. Then I took what I had to my friend Caitie Thompson and we tweaked some words and came up with the third verse.”

And so a new album unfolds. More details at her website. Stay tuned – and meanwhile, check out this fan-filmed video of a  smokin’ cover of Blinn and her band doing “Sympathy for the Devil” last September:

North American Tour Dates for King Gizzard

By Blurt Staff

After a (cough) semi-busy 2017, releasing five (5, count ’em) albums, Aussie psych monsters King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are now prepping a followup tour of North America slated to begin at the end of May. Presumably, that will give them time to release 2 or 3 more records…

Tour Dates:

5/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
6/01 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park
6/02 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
6/04 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
6/05 – Vancouver, BC @ The Malkin Bowl
6/06 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo
6/07 – Missoula, MT @ Monk’s
6/09 – Milwaukee MI @ The Pabst Theater
6/10 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera
6/11 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theater
6/12 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Theater
6/13 – Montreal, QC @ Le National
6/14 – Boston, MA @ Royale
6/15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
6/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
6/19 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
6/20 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
6/21 – New Orleans, LA @ Republic New Orleans
6/22 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Outdoors Waller Creek Amphitheatre

Photo Credit: Jamie Wdziekonski

Sex Pistols “…Queen” 45 Sells for Nearly $15k

You just might feel like you’d been cheated…

By Uncle Blurt

Quick, name one record you’d love to own but have neither ever seen it nor have a prayer of every buying.

If you said “God Save The Queen” / “No Feeling” by the Sex Pistols—the mega-rare version that the UK branch of A&M Records issued in 1977 prior to the band getting dumped by the label and subsequently signing with Virgin—go to the head of the bank queue. Don’t forget to bring a copy of your house deed as collateral for the loan.

The 45 has long been considered one of the rarest records from the modern era, reportedly only 25,000 copies pressed, and “virtually all were destroyed” by A&M in the wake of the cancellation of the band’s contract. Now, Alternative Press is reporting that a copy sold recently, on November 27, for nearly $15k.

“Discogs has verified the sale of the 1977 Sex Pistols seven-inch on A&M Records for $14,690 [actually, the figure listed on the Discogs site was €12,500.00, about $14,959.31 in US dollars – Ed.] and it now tops the list of the 30 most expensive records sold on the record-collecting database and marketplace for November.”

Somebody’s got some deep pockets. But wait—as the saying goes, there’s more. Currently on Discogs there are two copies of the infamous 7-inch for sale by UK-based sellers, one from a “davepunx” for £16,500.00 (about $22,400.83), the other from “mattyboy2009” for £18,999.00 (about $25,793.53). So you just might need that aforementioned trip to see your bank teller if you want to nab the platter any time soon. Of course, if you should decide to pony up, don’t blame us if at some point someone says to you, “Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?”

Never fear, normal people: there are “unofficial” reissues from 2013 on the market that were pressed on blue vinyl and boast a “Queen” themed picture sleeve that you can apparently score in the $30 range…