Monthly Archives: November 2016

Mose Allison 1927-2016 R.I.P.


By Blurt Staff

The music world continues to lose beloved figures in one, increasingly long, week, from Leonard Cohen to Leon Russell to Norton Records’ Billy Miller to country music heroine Holly Dunn, who was only 59. This afternoon it was announced by Jazz Times that legendary pianist and songwriter Mose Allison passed away early this morning at his home in Hilton Head, SC, from natural causes. He was 89 and had celebrated his birthday only days early, on Nov. 11.

Writes JT:

“Allison, an NEA Jazz Master, was 89, and had celebrated his birthday on Nov. 11. His death was confirmed for JazzTimes by his music attorney. Allison is survived by his wife of 65 years, Audre; his daughters Alissa, Amy and Janine Allison; his son, John Allison; and two grandchildren.”

Tributes to Allison has been coming out for the last several hours, including a heartfelt and revealing one at NPR that correctly noted the rock world’s embrace of Allison early on: “Allison’s witty and often-acerbic lyrics — delivered with a distinctive Southern drawl — were favorites of jazz fans and the British rockers who covered his songs — from The Who to The Clash to Van Morrison.”

Below check out some “Mose” tunes and then the “other folks” versions….


Leon Russell 1942-2016 R.I.P.


Master of space and time joins the cosmos.

By Blurt Staff

Leon Russell has passed away at the age 74 today. According to his website,

“Leon Russell died on Nov. 13, 2016 in Nashville at the age of 74. His wife said that he passed away in his sleep. The Master Of Space And Time was a legendary musician and songwriter originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma who performed his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music for over 50 years.

“Leon was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2011.

“Leon led the famous Joe Cocker’s ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen’ tour and performed with George Harrison and Friends at the Concert For Bangladesh. Leon has also toured with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Edgar Winter, The New Grass Revival, Willie Nelson, and Sir Elton John.

“Leon’s songwriting credits include ‘A Song For You’, ‘Delta Lady’, ‘Hummingbird’, ‘Lady Blue’, ‘Back To The Island’, ‘Tight Rope’, and ‘This Masquerade’.

Russell apparently had ongoing health problems, including surgery for brain fluid leaking in 2010, pneumonia that same year, and a heart attack this past July.

Videos: A Tribe Called Quest Tear It Up on “SNL”


Can they kick it? Yes, they can!

By Barbi Martinez

With Dave Chappelle hosting last night’s Saturday Night Live for one of the show’s most brilliant episodes in years, it was fitting that A Tribe Called Quest was the musical guest. They did “We The People…” and “The Space Program,” from new album We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service, On the former track, they unfurled a Phife Dawg banner during the verses he had recorded for the song prior to his deah, and on the latter, Consequence and Busta Rhymes jumped onstage to sing.

Norton Recs’ Billy Miller R.I.P.


UPDATE 11/14: The New York Times confirms details of Miller’s passing, and notes, “Billy Miller, a rock ’n’ roll archivist and collector whose record label, Norton, gave new life to forgotten rockabilly artists and garage bands of yesteryear, died on Sunday at his home in Brooklyn. He was 62. The cause was complications of multiple myeloma, kidney failure and diabetes, his wife and business partner, Miriam Linna, said.”


Kicks just keep getting harder to find….

By Fred Mills

This news has yet to be completely confirmed by the record label, but reports are coming in that Billy Miller, mover and shaker behind mighty indie roots/soul label Norton (not to mention the late great Kicks fanzine, and rockin’ outfits the Zantees and the A-Bones), has passed away. According to a post at the Steve Hoffman music forums, “Miriam Linna, his wife and co owner with him of the great Norton Records label/mail order company has just announced this terrible news. Way too young.” There’s also word about his death posted on his Facebook timeline as well as a brief note by Linna at her Facebook page. I presume an official announcement will be made shortly.

Miller had been in poor health. According to a post from Linna about a year ago, “Billy has been dealing with complications from Multiple Myeloma, including kidney failure. He has been in and out of the hospital several times during the past year, and has been on chemotherapy and dialysis.”

Needless to say, this is very sad news for everyone in the music world, and particularly in the record business. Norton is one of the greats, with Billy and Miriam founding it many years ago and going on to help usher in a new era of appreciation for vintage rockabily, rock, and soul. I’ve heard Billy described as “Lux Interior’s little brother,” with Miriam being “Ivy’s little sister”. Kindred spirits indeed – Miriam was the original drummer for the Cramps, and later she and Billy would assemble the A-Bones.

On a personal note, I had met Billy several times over the years and he was a warm, genuine guy who knew what he liked and did his level best to make sure the rest of us got a chance to like it as well. R.I.P., sir, and our condolences to Miriam, Billy’s family, and the entire extended Norton family.

Leonard Cohen 1934-2016 R.I.P.


IUPDATE 11/13: We’ve now posted our Cohen tribute which collects a number of our best Cohen-related content from over the years.


It’s not a hallelujah…

By Blurt Staff

Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82. On the singer’s Facebook page we get the sudden news:

“It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away, We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.”

Watch Devastating Live Video of Hymn For Her Doing Dylan’s “Hollis Brown”


Despoiling the Great American Songbook (ours, at least), one song at a time: The rock ‘n’ roll nomads who spend the bulk of their time criss-crossing the US in their classic Airstream get busy once more.

By Uncle Blurt

Holy. Fucking. Shit. How do we love thee, Hymn For Her, ye of Sarasota, Florida, aka Lucy Tight and Wayne Waxing who dropped their latest album, Drive Til U Die? The BLURT braintrust has already showcased an ace set of tunes for y’all – so what would you BLURT readers say to, in their words, “We pay homage to the 2016 Nobel Prize winner who continues to blow our minds.” Well, that is putting matters gently.

Watch this recent live performance by the duo – closely, in fact, because this is as intricate a study as you’ll get. Take a deep breath – more than once, perhaps… let it roar.

A dirty drivin’ rain, indeed. As intense as it gets, particularly in the context of where we find ourselves now in America.

The name’s Dylan. You may have heard of him. Of the above homage, well, trust us, it’s as relevant now as it was a week ago. Or a year ago. Or 10 years ago. Or…. you get the idea.  Some relevant links follow, because you seriously need to see these folks up close and personal.


HFH on Facebook

Watch an Even Crazier Video from Sophe Lux & the Mystic


Personal note: our own Uncle Blurt says he is hot for girls with blue mustaches….

By Blurt Staff

In September we uttered thusly: “The band used to be called Sophe Lux, but more recently expanded as Sophe Lux & the Mystic. Well, the name itself “expanded”. Where previously frontwoman Gwynneth Haynes operated the group, starting in 2002, as a vehicle for her self-described “cabaret-informed operatic-glam pageantry” and frequently tapped the talents of fellow Portlandians who were members of the Decemberists and Steven Malkmus’ The Jicks, her more recent iteration is a solo vehicle.”

That was for our premiere of Haynes’ “Love Is Waiting” track from her latest album All Is One, and this week she unveiled another way-trippy video from the record. It’s titled “Your Wonderland” and it’s all over the interwebs, no doubt sparking epileptic fits and chemically-induced flashbacks galore. Ya want proof? Okay, you asked for it…. (On the web:


Listen to New Run the Jewels Post-election Track


By Barbi Martinez

Run The Jewels didn’t waste much time after the election: they just dropped a new song titled “2100”, and it includes Boots appearing on the track. According to the band, “We weren’t planning on releasing it yet but… well it feels right, now. It’s about fear and its about love and its about wanting more for all of us. its called 2100. we hope it finds you well.” Check it out below, and listen closely to the lyrics.

UPDATE: New XX Album + Tour Dates


UPDATE 11/15: This just in from NME:

The xx have sent their fans letters in the post inviting them to previously unannounced shows. The band revealed a series of tour dates recently none of which included any UK dates. But fans have been posting on social media that they have received letters in the post from the band, informing them that they have been given free tickets to previously unannounced concerts.

By Barbi Martinez

It’s been a long time since the last album from the xx, Coexist – four years, to be precise. The drought ends on Jan. 13 with the arrival of I See You (Yount Turks). There will be a regular version and a deluxe box with bonus material. As Pitchfork points out, the band has been doling out short musical snippets leading up to today’s announcement.

Below, listen to the song “On Hold”.

11-28 Zagreb, Croatia – Bocarski Dom
11-29 Prague, Czech Republic – Forum Karlin
11-30 Poznan, Poland – Hala Nr 2 MTP
12-01 Warsaw, Poland – Nowy Teatr
12-03 Vilnius, Lithuania – Compensa Arena
12-06 Tokyo, Japan – Toyosu PIT
03-23 Bogota, Colombia – Festival Estereo Picnic
03-24 Bogota, Colombia – Festival Estereo Picnic
03-25 Bogota, Colombia – Festival Estereo Picnic
03-25 Sao Paulo, Brazil – Lollapalooza
03-26 Sao Paulo, Brazil – Lollapalooza
03-31 San Isidro, Argentina – Lollapalooza
04-01 San Isidro, Argentina – Lollapalooza
04-01 Santiago, Chile – Lollapalooza
04-02 Santiago, Chile – Lollapalooza