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View Photos from the Music From Big Pink and Beyond Concert

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Live at the Alex Theatre this past weekend, it was a songwriters’ songwriters love fest of epic proportions. According to the organizers: “Benefit-concert producers the Wild Honey Foundation present The Band’s first two records Music From Big Pink and The Band, plus bonus songs, performed by a star-studded house band and guest singers. The event will benefit the Autism Think Tank.”

PHOTOS BY SUSAN MOLL

Go HERE to view our complete photo gallery of the event. Below: selected images include The Band’s own Garth Hudson, plus Victoria Williams and Van Dyke Parks.

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Damn, It’s the Damned, Ready to Tour America

Damned

Trek kicks off next week in celebration of the punk band’s 1977 debut.

BY TIM HINELY

Ladies and gentlemen, The Damned are coming back to America to complete your Spring (or ruin your day). Yes, the iconic British punk band, at it for over 40 years now, will be doing a full tour of America, hitting just about every part of the country.

The tour begins on April 6th in Los Angeles and will end on May 21st in Phoenix, hitting parts far and wide; half of the dates will be with opening act Bleached, while the other half will have The Bellrays as support). See the itinerary, below.

The band, including co-founders Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible along with longtime members Monty Oxymoron, Andrew “Pinch” Pinching and Stu West, are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut lp, Damned Damned Damned and decided to throw a party, or several of them, of sorts. 7830627d4e434ab3912f6c58cca47b73

To say that the band’s classic debut (produced by Nick Lowe and the first British punk album) has been a huge influence on every punk band worth their salt is an understatement. With classics like “Neat Neat Neat,” “Fan Club,”  “New Rose” and too many others, the record rips from start to finish. Last month BMG released a special remastered edition of the record complete with a special booklet and liner notes by John Ingham, and thus the band decided to hit the road and show everyone how it’s really done.

In addition the band are working on a new record to be released later this year. It will be their first since 2008’s So, Who’s Paranoid?

Personally, the last time I caught the band was at Denver’s Riot Fest in 2015 and they delivered a stunning set complete with songs spanning their extensive catalog (I still think that they were the best band of that particular Riot Fest).

If you’ve never seen the Damned before or if you’ve seen them countless times this tour promises to be an event, so in the words of Classy Freddie Blassie, don’t miss it.

More details at the band’s official website, of course.

The Damned 2017 Tour Dates

4/06 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Belasco Theater
4/07 – San Diego, Calif. @ House Of Blues
4/09 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ House Of Blues
4/11 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Fillmore
4/12 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Ace Of Spades
4/14 – Portland, Ore. @ Crystal Ballroom
4/15 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ The Commodore
4/16 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Showbox
4/18 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ The Depot
4/19 – Denver, Colo. @ Summit Music Hall
4/21 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Delmar Hall
4/22 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ Fine Line
4/23 – Chicago, Ill. @ House Of Blues
4/24 – Louisville, Ky. @ Mercury Ballroom
4/26 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ Deluxe at Old National Ctr.
4/27 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Bogart’s
4/28 – Cleveland, Ohio @ House Of Blues
4/29 – Detroit, Mich. @ St. Andrews Hall
4/30 – Toronto, Ontario @ Phoenix Theatre
5/02 – Montreal, Quebec @ Club Soda
5/04 – Boston, Mass. @ Paradise Rock Club
5/05 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Warsaw
5/06 – Asbury Park, N.J. @ Stone Pony
5/07 – Philadelphia, Pa @ TLA
5/09 – Baltimore, Md. @ Sound Stage
5/11 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Masquerade/Heaven
5/12 – Lake Buena Vista, Fla. @ House Of Blues
5/13 – St, Petersburg, Fla. @ State Theater
5/14 – Fort Lauderdale, Fla. @ Revolution
5/16 – New Orleans, La. @ House Of Blues
5/17 – Houston, Texas @ House Of Blues
5/18 – Dallas, Texas @ House Of Blues
5/19 – Austin, Texas @ Mohawk Outdoors
5/21 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Marquee Theater

Track Premiere: Parson Red Heads’ “Coming Down”

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Tune culled from upcoming album due in June.

By Blurt Staff

Over the years we’ve sung the praises of Portland rockers The Parson Red Heads, including a review of 2013’s Orb Weaver and a profile, also in 2013, of the band. So we were pretty stoked to get the news that there’s a new album from the band, due June 9 via Fluff & Gravy Records (US) / You Are The Cosmos Records (EUR). Now we’ve got an exclusive early look at Blurred Harmony—the first single is “Coming Down,” so check it out:

Blurred Harmony is a musically diverse record – it is a distillation of the sounds and styles that the Parsons, as a band, love. It is the overdriven jangle of Teenage Fanclub and Big Star power-pop, the skewed psychedelics of the Paisley Underground, the bittersweet energy of New Zealand’s “Dunedin Sound” movement, and the muted twang of Cosmic Americana, all crammed into 44 minutes.

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A full roster of tour dates will be announced late, but they have scheduled several already in and around their home territory:

June 7 – Old St Francis School – Bend, OR
June 8 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
June 10 – Conor Byrne – Seattle, WA

You can find out more about the band at the official website, and you can also pre-order the album on LP / CD:
US:  http://www.theparsonredheads.bandcamp.com
EUR: http://www.youarethecosmos.com/artist/the-parson-red-heads

 

 

Getting Ready for Bonnaroo?

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June 8-11, 2017 this year on the farm Manchester, TN – see the lineup, above.

By Mark Jackson

This year is set to be another huge year for Bonnaroo! With non other than U2 co-headlining with Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Weeknd, this just might push record breaking ticket sales for the festival.

Bonnaroo has always been know for a great mix of music and breaking new acts and this year is no exception with EDM acts such as Marshmello, Getter, Major Lazer, Flume and Nghtmre. Back again this year is the late night jam session known as Superjam and the Blue Grass Situation Superjam Hosted by Ed Helms and friends.

Last year was the debut of the “Real Bathrooms” and was received with great reviews. Perhaps they will even be able to add more this year, it could come in real handy with sponsors Cherokee Distributors bringing tons and tons of Miller Lite Products to Centeroo.

My tips for Bonnaroo this year are:

  1. Buy your tickets as early as possible.
  2. IF camping double check your packed items to ensure you have all necessities.
  3. Bring a camelback or water bottle into Centeroo. There are several location to fill up for free.
  4. Bring a hat and or bandana and wet bandana often.
  5. Bring a great attitude or stay home
  6. Practice your high fives and work those arm muscles.
  7. Last but not least bring sunscreen!

Shaky Knees Festival 2017: Daily and Late-Show Lineups Announced

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Big 5th anniversary bash for the Atlanta musical blowout…

By Jeff Clegg

Atlanta’s biggest summer music festival is returning for its fifth anniversary this year and is taking place May 12-14 at Centennial Olympic Park. The XX, LCD Soundsystem, and Phoenix are headlining the event, which also includes the likes of The Shins, Ryan Adams, Sylvan Esso, Pinegrove, Pixies, Wolf Parade, Warpaint, Car Seat Headrest, Hamilton Leithauser, Cloud Nothings, PUP, and Cymbals Eat Guitars. This marks the first time that the event has stayed in the same location consecutive years, which is great considering the event allows re-entry and is located conveniently next to several hotels and attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, College Football Hall of Fame, World of Coca-Cola, and SkyView Atlanta Ferris Wheel (just to name a few).

The late-night shows have just been announced, which notably includes sets by artists not on the main festival bill such as Slowdive and Sampha. Tickets for the festival can be purchased here and tickets for the late-night shows can be purchased here. Check out the lineups below:

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In addition, the EDM-focused Shaky Beats Festival from the same organizers is returning for its second anniversary this year and will be held at Centennial Olympic Park the weekend before Shaky Knees, May 5th-7th. Check out the festival lineup below and purchase tickets here.

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Record Store Day Titles – Including Schoolkids Records’ Bettie Serveert LP & Veldt 45

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Our sister business gets in the, er, business of limited edition vinyl for this year’s event…

BY FRED MILLS

That’s why they call it Record Store Day — because it’s the one day of the year you definitely need to get your ass out to your local independent record dealer. How do we know this? Because we are partnered up with North Carolina indie chain Schoolkids Records, of course! Our sister business will be busy as hell, like usual, on April 22, helping you, the discriminating music consumer score all that limited edition vinyl you live and die by.

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Which, this time around, will include our very own RSD release – beloved Dutch rockers Bettie Serveert will have their Damaged Good vinyl LP released on the Schoolkids Records label, and it’s a good ‘un, limited to 100 copies. Below, you can hear a couple of tracks from the album.

We also have an exclusive Schoolkids release from NC’s The Veldt, the “Symmetry” / “Slow Grid” 7″ 45, limited to 450 copies. Need I say it’s a good ‘un as well? Check the official video for the A side:

Meanwhile, what else will be dropping this year? How about David Bowie, unreleased Smiths, live Springsteen, Iggy and Lou Reed, Prince 12”ers, Spacemen 3, Patti Smith, Madonna, the Fall, Fleetwood Mac, the Chemical Brothers, Neil Young, The Chills, Sun Ra, Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus (no, not together), Jason Isbell, Sharon Jones, Air, Motörhead, Ramones, the Cure, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, Cocteau Twins, the Sex Pistols, U2, the Raincoats, Priests, Hudson Mohawke, Art of Noise, Elastica… whew. Go to the link for the full, downloadable list: here for the U.S. and here for the UK.

And in addition to the Bettie Serveert tracks, you might want to check out this, um, quirky Funny or Die video from St. Vincent, who is the official Ambassador for RSD 2017. Or maybe that’s the country of Recorstorda…

 

James Cotton 1935-2017 R.I.P.

James Cotton

Blues harp master was one of the last living links to The Blues’ heyday. Above photo: Christopher Durst (via the web).

By Blurt Staff

A giant of classic—and contemporary—blues passed away March 16: James Cotton, harmonica legend, at the age of 81, from pneumonia. Fittingly enough, he died in an Austin hospital while the SXSW musical throngs clogged the clubs in the streets below.

The Delta-spawned bluesman influenced untold players from multiple genres—blues, rock, folk—and aside from the many blues peers he performed with over the years, he also worked with everyone from Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton to Janis Joplin and Keith Richards. He got his start as a vocalist in the ‘50s, at Sun Records of all places, then wound up as a featured performer with Muddy Waters before starting his own James Cotton Blues Band.

The Washington Post and the New York Times both have key summaries of the man’s career. Meanwhile, check out some of his music, below.

Paying Tribute to Chuck Berry 1926-2017 R.I.P.

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Knoxville-based musician Tim Lee, of the late, great Windbreakers, more recently of the Tim Lee 3 and Bark (reviewed here, incidentally) wrote this morning at his Facebook page about the enormous influence Chuck Berry had upon him and several generations’ worth of rockers. He says it better than any of us Blurt-ers could possibly say it. Follow Tim on Facebook here.

BY TIM LEE

When I was a kid, I was eat up with guitar (as we say in the South). I watched the bands on Midnight Special and ABC’s In Concert, and I thought there was nothing cooler than a low-slung Gibson or Fender. Still do.

We had an old Kay hollow-body stashed away in a closet that my brother never got around to learning, so I pulled it out one day. My dad was gracious enough to drive me and the guitar over to Skeets McWilliams’ music store in west Jackson, where they put strings on it and replaced the missing bridge.

That thing had scary high action, but it was a guitar. I joined the guitar club at my junior high school (yeah, pretty cool, huh?), where English teacher/musician J.R. Robertson gave us printouts of the chords and words to current songs like “Angie” by the Stones. He brought in different guitars and let us play them, and he lit a fire under some of us that never went out.

J.R. is still one of my parents’ good friends. They don’t hold it against him.

A year or so later, we were living in Brookhaven, Miss. David Bowling was a skinny red-haired neighborhood guy who was a couple years older than me and knew some guitar. He figured out that, if he could show me some bar chords and a few familiar rock and roll riffs, he’d have someone to play rhythm guitar while he worked on his improvising solos skills.

I’d spend hours at his house playing “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Stormy Monday” (9th chords and all). It was a great education for playing rock n’ roll rhythm guitar.

But David’s favorite was playing “Johnny B. Goode.” He taught me how to play the “runka, runka” rhythm stuff, and I eventually mastered it, no matter how much my pinky protested.

Eventually, he showed me how to play the double-stop intro riff. Torturing my fingers on that damn-near-impossible-to-play Kay through my little solid state Silvertone amp, I thought I’d found Nirvana (obviously the state of being, not the band).

That was it for me. I’d already taken the bait, but the hook was set at that point in time.

From that moment forward, it was hard to drag me away from the guitar. I got a book called “How to Play Lead Guitar” from the Brookhaven library, where I learned a couple scales and a few more “Chuck Berry licks,” as the book referred to them.

Yeah, that’s how important Chuck Berry is to rock n’ roll guitar. That book contained no “George Harrison licks,” no “Bo Diddley licks,” no “B.B. King licks,” and no “Keith Richards licks.” There were just “guitar licks” and “Chuck Berry licks.”

There might have been a few co-authors of the form, but Berry wrote the figurative book on the matter.

The first time I hung out with Bobby Sutliff, he showed me a bunch of less-familiar CB riffs. That had a strong effect on my approach to lead guitar. (Not to stray too far off course, but Bobby really has an encyclopedic knowledge of that stuff. I’ve seen seasoned pros pull him aside so he can show them that killer ascending bit in the “Let it Rock” solo.)

I often joke that my approach to soloing is just Jeff Beck’s solo on “Heart Full of Soul” combined with a handful of Chuck Berry licks, that anything else is just over-achieving. But I’m only half-kidding.

So here’s to Chuck Berry, who was set to release his first record in years at the age of 90. This has been all about his influence on rock n’ roll guitar, but there’s a whole ‘nuther tome that could be written on his contributions to the poetry of the medium.

There won’t be another one like him.

Watch Samantha Fish’s “Chills & Fever” Video

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Smokin’ title track to the guitarist’s new album.

By Fred Mills

Easily one of the best album to date this year is blues guitar whiz Samantha Fish’s Chills & Fever, which dropped this week via the Ruf label. It’s a collection of smokin’ tunes that our reviewer describes as” a blisteringly fine set of rocking soul that both showcases Fish’s estimable fretboard skills and demonstrates her intuitive gifts in selecting classic, maximum-impact material to perform.”

Fish recently delivered a video for the title track, and you can check it out below. Our reviewer was pretty stoked about the tune itself, calling it a “shudder/shimmy/shake appropriation of R&B perennial “Chills & Fever”—which some may recall from Tom Jones’ over-the-top performance—that is authentic enough to give Amy Winehouse nu-soul devotees pause.”

MP3: Download Wilco’s 2/25/17 Chicago FM B-cast

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Chicago is the place!

By Uncle Blurt

Love me some Wilco – the band is arguably the best American combo going right now. So here’s a good ‘un for all my fellow Wilco fanatics – the Chicago bros on home turf (the Chicago Theater, natch), serving up a heaping helping of recent album Wilco Schmilco alongside a ton of fun fan faves. The ever-diligent archivists at Big O zine have rounded up MP3 downloads of the FM broadcast Chicago punters were privy to, and there’s some sweet downloadable artwork as well. Link is below, followed by the full tracklising.

MP3: Wilco – Chicago Theater, Chicago, IL; February 25, 2017

Disc 1

      Track 101
. Announcer 2:11
      Track 102
. Normal American Kids 2:59
      Track 103
. If I Ever Was a Child 3:12
      Track 104
. Cry All Day 4:31
      Track 105
. Sunken Treasure 6:35
      Track 106
. Kamera 3:20
      Track 107
. The Joke Explained 3:48
      Track 108
. Someone to Lose 3:39
      Track 109
. Misunderstood 4:26
      Track 110
. The Lonely 4:12
      Track 111
. Impossible Germany 9:40
      Track 112
. Shouldn’t Be Ashamed 3:29
      Track 113
. We Aren’t the World (Safety Girl) 3:24
      Track 114
. Dawned on Me 4:14
      Track 115
. Theologians 4:55
65 mins

Disc 2

      Track 201
. Via Chicago 5:32
      Track 202
. Jesus, Etc 5:11
      Track 203
. Locator 4:40
      Track 204
. Heavy Metal Drummer 3:20
      Track 205
. I’m the Man Who Loves You 4:08
      Track 206
. Hummingbird 3:43
      Track 207
. The Late Greats 3:10
      Track 208
. Box Full of Letters 3:36
      Track 209
. Random Name Generator 4:40
      Track 210
. Red-Eyed and Blue 2:27
      Track 211
. I Got You (At the End of the Century) 4:00
      Track 212
. Outtasite (Outta Mind) 2:37
      Track 213
. Spiders (Kidsmoke) 10:35
      Track 214
. A Shot in the Arm (Acoustic) 4:32
63 mins