KINGSTON, Jamaica — Legendary reggae singer Bunny Wailer died in the Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston this morning. He was 73.
"Yes. He died about 8:00 this morning. I'm still right here with him," his manager Maxine Stowe told OBSERVER ONLINE a short while ago.
Bunny Wailer had been in and out of hospital since his second stroke in July 2020.
Hailing from Trench Town, Bunny Wailer's given name is Neville Livingston. He is a founding member of The Wailers, which included Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.
Marley died of cancer in May 11, 1981, while Tosh was killed at his St Andrew home on September 11, 1987.
Bunny Wailer's albums include Blackheart Man, released in 1976, and Rock 'n' Groove which came out five years later. His hit songs include Cool Runnings, Ballroom Floor, Crucial, and Bald Head Jesus.
In 2017, the Jamaican Government awarded Bunny Wailer an Order of Merit, the country's fourth highest honor. The Government again recognized his contribution to Jamaican music in February 2019 with a Reggae Gold Award.
'Julian De Backer schrijft sinds 2012 voor Keys & Chords, en zou heel graag journalist worden. Helaas is dat tot op de dag van vandaag nog niet gelukt. In 2018 interviewde hij het kruim van de Belgische singer-songwriters voor zijn boek 'SONGWRITERS - Muzikanten over hun stiel', dat bij Lannoo verscheen. Begin 2021 bracht hij 'NOVELLE' uit, een eerste voorzichtige stap in de wereld van de fictie. 'NOVELLE' gaat over een schrijver met een writer's block, die echter ontkent dat hij een writer's block heeft. Wat volgt, is een soms grappige, soms ontroerende metanovelle over het loslaten van het verleden en openstaan voor nieuwe kansen. Hoewel de achterflap een donker verhaal doet vermoeden, is 'NOVELLE' licht en luchtig, en op een namiddag uit te lezen. Een kleine trip, geschreven voor een immer enthousiaste auteur. Julian De Backer is beschikbaar voor interviews en lezingen over 'NOVELLE'.'
World-renowned blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Chris Cain will release his Alligator Records debut album, Raisin’ Cain, on Friday, April 9, 2021. The album features 12 originals, each showcasing Cain’s fiery musicianship and deft, memorable songwriting skills. According to Cain, who recently received two Blues Music Award nominations (for Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year and Best Guitarist), “These are the best pack of tunes I’ve ever written.”
Of Raisin’ Cain, Chris Cain says, “My songs are funky and danceable and my writing is now less personal diary than in the past. I want my songs to tell universal stories.” From the rocking opener “Hush Money” to the instantly relatable “Too Many Problems” to the late-night jazzy blues of “I Don’t Know Exactly What’s Wrong With My Baby,” the universal appeal of Cain’s music is abundantly clear. His songs deliver uncommon, surprising hooks and riffs coming in rapid-fire succession. On four songs, Cain shows off his stellar keyboard skills, and on the far-out instrumental “Space Force,” he proves himself a funky and jazzy ARP Soloist player. Along with Cain is his road-tested band — of bassist Steve Evans and keyboardist/organist Greg Rahn, with Chris’ touring drummer Sky Garcia and veteran D’Mar Martin (Little Richard, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats) sharing the skins. The album was produced and recorded by Kid Andersen (Rick Estrin & The Nightcats) at Andersen’s Greaseland Studio in San Jose, California.
With more than three decades of worldwide touring and 14 acclaimed previous albums, Cain has earned his reputation as both a fan favorite and a musician’s musician. Since his first release in 1987, he has created his very own blues sound inspired by his heroes – B.B. King, Albert King, Ray Charles, Albert Collins, Grant Green and Wes Montgomery. His jazz-informed blues guitar playing is fiery, emotional and always unpredictable. His vocals – gruff, lived-in and powerful – add fuel to the fire. His indelible original songs keep one foot in the blues tradition and both eyes on the future. The pure joy Cain brings to his playing and singing is palpable, and draws fans even closer in.
Both the media and his fellow musicians rave about Cain. Guitar Player said, “Cain is an impressive, top-notch guitarist. His full-bodied tone and big voice pack a punch that had me reeling.” Guitar icon Robben Ford said, “Chris Cain is for real. He’s a great blues player with an intensity that keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what he’s going to do next. Plus he knows how to write a song you haven’t heard before, full of humor and insight. If you like the blues, you’ll like Chris Cain. I am a stone fan.”
Cain formed his first band in 1986 in his hometown of San Jose, California, and released his first album in 1987, Late Night City Blues, on the locally-based Blue Rock’It label. Almost immediately, booking agents came calling. Incredibly, he was touring Europe even before he started barnstorming the U.S. The album received four W.C Handy Award nominations (now the Blues Music Awards) and the offers to perform kept rolling in. He even opened for his heroes Albert King and Albert Collins, who both asked Chris to jam on stage. The more Cain toured and recorded, the greater his reputation grew. His releases include four albums on Blue Rock’It and three on Blind Pig Records, and his live performances number in the thousands.
Cain has toured all over North America and made repeated trips around the world. He’s performed at the Chicago Blues Festival, The Doheny Blues Festival, The Philadelphia Blues Festival, The Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, and many others. He’s played concerts and festivals in Argentina, Uruguay, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Brazil, Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.
With Raisin’ Cain, Chris Cain says he is at a new point in his career. “I’m playing and writing better than ever before. I can say more with less,” he says, referring to his dynamic guitar playing and superb songwriting. “I’m as much a fan as a musician,” Cain says. “And I’m as excited to be making music today as I was when I was a teenager. More than ever before, I just play what I feel.”
Storyteller Supreme Bob Bradshaw Illuminates New Tales with "The Ghost Light" on Upcoming CD, Due April 30
Singer/songwriter Bob Bradshaw announces an April 30 release date for his new CD, The Ghost Light, coming from Fluke Records, which blends influences from folk, rock, country, Americana and blues into one cohesive package of spell-binding music.
Bob Bradshaw is a storyteller. And like any good storyteller, he possesses the ability to transform himself right before your very eyes, to not only craft a compelling cast of characters, but to inhabit them with complete and utter conviction. One listen to The Ghost Light reveals a true chameleon at work. One moment he’s an impulsive daredevil plunging over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel; the next, a sea-weary pirate lured to his death by a choir of sirens. More often than not, though, he’s simply one of us, just an ordinary, everyday soul searching for meaning, hope, and redemption wherever he can find it.
“I’ve never been the kind of writer who picks up a pen to process his personal life or purge his emotions,” says Bradshaw. “I write to create, to imagine, and every track on this album is its own little world.”
Recorded over the past year, The Ghost Light is the product of time spent in quarantine, but it’s by no means a pandemic record. The songs here are timeless, drawing on the kind of fundamental humanity that binds us all as they grapple with heartbreak and regret, memory and nostalgia, loneliness and liberation. Bradshaw writes with a vivid eye for detail on the album, offering up a cinematic series of character-driven vignettes that often slip their most profound revelations between the lines, and his performances are subtle and understated to match, fleshed out with lush, evocative arrangements full of color and nuance. The result is a record as open as it is empathetic, a sharp, transportive collection that calls to mind everything from John Hiatt and Guy Clark to Bruce Cockburn and Nick Lowe in its potent mix of folk erudition and rock and roll urgency.
“When I write, I never want the scaffolding of the songs to be visible,” Bradshaw explains. “I want to tell stories with room for exploration and interpretation. I want people to bring themselves into the songs as much as possible.”
Born and raised in Cork, Ireland, Bradshaw apprenticed as a journalist as a teenager, but after spending much of his twenties writing a mix of news and short stories (including two stories in the prestigious Irish Press New Irish Writing series), his restless spirit eventually got the better of him, and he struck out on his own to see the world with little more than a backpack and guitar to his name. For the next several years, he drifted across Europe, surviving off his earnings from busking on street corners and performing in bars until 1989, when he landed a green card.
Bradshaw found himself in New York City, where he picked up a series of odd jobs (house painter, Liza Minnelli’s doorman, among others) to make ends meet. Like many an immigrant before him, he eventually moved west, settling down in San Francisco for a decade during which he met his wife and formed his first true band, Resident Aliens.
“That group started out as a cover band,” says Bradshaw, “but when we got offered studio time, we realized pretty quickly that we’d better come up with some original material. That’s how I got tricked into becoming a songwriter.”
Unsurprisingly, given his history with prose, Bradshaw found he had a knack for writing songs. His was a raw talent, though, instinctual and impulsive, and his desire to harness and hone his skills eventually led him back to the East Coast, where he enrolled at the Berklee College of Music, eventually graduating in 2009. It was there in Boston that Bradshaw launched his prolific solo career, earning widespread praise on both sides of the Atlantic over the course of eight critically acclaimed studio albums. No Depression hailed his tunes as “instant classics,” while The Telegraph UK lauded his writing as “wonderfully atmospheric.” The Patriot Ledger declared, “Bradshaw is an exceptional songwriter”, and Maximum Volume Music wrote: “Like all great songwriters, Bradshaw can mold experiences into something illuminating, and give them universal quality.” Bradshaw became a live fixture in New England, as well, performing at clubs in and around Boston most nights of the week until the COVID-19 pandemic brought things to a grinding halt in the spring of 2020.
“That’s where I got the idea to call this album The Ghost Light,” explains Bradshaw. “In the theater world, the ghost light is a single bulb that’s left burning to appease the spirits of the absent performers whenever the hall goes dark.”
With every hall in town dark, Bradshaw found himself writing in a more adventurous, ambitious fashion than before. While his 2019 Queen Of The West was a concept album built around a single, overarching storyline, the songs Bradshaw penned for The Ghost Light were wide-ranging and eclectic, each one its own self-contained universe. When it came time to record, he worked both in-person with his core electric band (guitarists Andrew Stern and Andy Santospago, bassist Ed Lucie, and drummer Mike Connors), and remotely with hired guns like drummer/producer Dave Brophy (Patty Larkin, Eli “Paperboy” Reed), bassist/engineer Dave Westner (Tim Gearan, Peter Wolf) and bassist Zachariah Hickman (Josh Ritter, Ray LaMontagne), letting the music guide his decisions at every turn.
Bradshaw penned the songs here with a variety of collaborators, including his old Resident Aliens bandmate Scoop McGuire and Boston stalwarts Andy Santospago and John Sheeran. “Each track had its own character and demanded its own approach,” he says.
The tango-inflected “Sideways,” for instance, features Argentinean bandoneon player Francisco Martinez Herrera, while the melancholy “Blue” draws rich emotional depth from (another ex-Resident Alien) Chad Manning’s extraordinary fiddle work, and the shuffling “Gone” gets a lift from James Rohr’s soulful B3. Despite the broad array of sounds and influences at play, the album remains cohesive throughout, thanks in part to Bradshaw’s trademark mix of humor and heart, as well as his warm, full-bodied voice, which sits front and center whether he’s singing of heartache (like the waltzing “Come Back Baby” or the bittersweet “She’s Gone For Good”), uncertainty (like the searing “21st Century Blues” or the gritty “In The Dark”), or hope (like the breezy “Songs On The Radio” or the 60’s-countrypolitan-style of “Dream”).
Ultimately, the album plays like a collection of short works of fiction, each song unique in its form and function yet inextricably linked by a common emotional thread. Every track is an invitation, a doorway to another time and place. The world may have gone dark this past year, but with The Ghost Light, Bob Bradshaw is determined to keep the bulb burning. That’s what good storytellers do.
The 74-year-old music legend has revealed fans of the 'Tragedy' hitmakers can expect a biographical film within the next couple of years, which is set to follow the 2020 documentary, 'The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart'.
Barry is quoted by the Daily Star newspaper's Wired column as saying: "The biopic could be about two years away.
"You shall see how I saw the world through my eyes, and there are a lot of things that nobody ever knew about.
"It is a million moments, you know - a million moments that change your life in one day."
The musician also has an autobiography in the works with his son Ashley, 43, and teased that the tome contains content not suitable for the screen.
He added: "There are things in the book that could never be in the film."
The biopic and book news comes after it was previously reported that Bradley Cooper was approached by producers over the possibility of playing the eldest of the Gibb brothers, who enjoyed global chart-topping success with younger brothers Robin and Maurice, in an upcoming flick.
The film is to follow the group from the time they arrived in London from Australia and had their first number one hit with 'Massachusetts' in 1967.
The band unraveled in subsequent years with substances, pills and booze involved, before Barry led a revival in the 1970s as the Bee Gees embraced a disco sound.
Barry is the last surviving member of the group, as Maurice died in 2003 and Robin passed away in 2012.
The untitled movie is yet to get a director but is to be produced by Graham King, who worked on the Queen biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
Paramount Pictures are also involved in the film and have purchased the rights from the Gibb estate to use the Bee Gees' classic music.
Paramount were also involved in 'Rocketman', which starred Taron Egerton as Sir Elton John.
The motion picture is being written by Anthony McCarten, who has become much sought-after scripting flicks such as 'The Theory of Everything', 'Darkest Hour' and 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
Op 12 februari werd in discotheek Versuz te Hasselt aangekondigd dat er een officiële versie komt van het wereldberoemde bordspel Monopoly over de Belgische discotheken. Deze gelimiteerde uitgave zal 22 discotheken op het spelbord omvatten, alsook aangepaste Kans- en Algemeen Fonds-kaartjes.
Elf vakjes werden nog niet ingevuld en werden bepaald door een poll waarbij elke discotheekliefhebber kon stemmen op zijn favoriete danstempel(s). De lijst bestond uit maar liefst 82 iconische discotheken uit het verleden. Door de grote interesse uit Wallonië wordt het spel zelfs tweetalig.
Het werd al snel duidelijk dat het een spannende strijd zou worden om een plaatsje in de top 11 te bemachtigen en er werd dan ook massaal opgeroepen om te stemmen waardoor de tussenstand dagelijks wijzigde. De stemronde is inmiddels afgelopen en uiteindelijk werden maar liefst 28.368 stemmen geteld!
Nu is het resultaat dus bekend en kunnen we kunnen dan ook volgende top 11 bekendmaken:
America’s most prolific singer/songwriter/author/activist/philanthropist/etc. is at it again. Willie Nelson not only released his 71st studio album, That’s Life, today (Feb. 26), he announced the upcoming release of his latest book, Willie Nelson’s Letters to America. Written with his friend Turk Pipkin, the book will be published June 29 by Harper Horizon.
Described in a press release as “a collection of intimate letters reminding readers of the endless promise and continuous obligations of all Americans — to themselves, to one another, and to their nation— to stand with unity, resolve, and faith,” the book comes less than a year after the September 2020 release of Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band, Nelson’s shared memoir with his sister and Family Band mate, Bobbie Nelson.
Nelson and Pipkin previously collaborated on The Tao of Willie: A Guide to Happiness in Your Heart. Published in 2006, it became a New York Times bestseller. Known for delivering sometimes-profound philosophical insights with great doses of witty humor, Nelson published The Facts of Life and other Dirty Jokes, written with Lonesome Dove author Larry McMurtry, in 2003, and in 2012, he released Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road, written with fellow raconteur Kinky Friedman. Nelson also has written two autobiographies and a novel (2008’s A Tale Out of Luck). Pipkin also co-wrote When Angels Sing, which he adapted into a screenplay for the film, Angels Sing, in which Nelson played Nick (as in St. Nick). Pipkin also had recurring roles in HBO’s The Sopranos and The Leftovers.
In Letters to America, Nelson reflects on the country’s history and considers its future; at 87, he’s certainly been around long enough to deliver perceptive observations. He also expresses thoughts about family members and his heroes, and revisits some of his most beloved song lyrics.
His new album, That’s Life, co-produced by Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings, is Nelson’s second collection of songs popularized by Frank Sinatra. The first one, 2018’s My Way, earned Nelson his ninth of 10 Grammys (not counting his Lifetime Achievement, Grammy Legend and President’s Merit awards). Nelson’s Grammy tally also includes one for his collection of Gershwin songs, Summertime, recorded after he received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress.
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of dynamic alto saxophonist and educator/organizer, Christian Brewer, after a long illness. This post will be added as more tributes emerge.
Alex Garnett has posted this on Facebook today 27 February 2021: It is with heavy heart to say I have been informed by Christian’s family that he departed our mortal world in the early hours of this morning. God bless you my friend. Thanks for the memories and the music. May your soul’s transition into pure sound be a swinging one.
Brian Blain in 2017, reviewing gigs with Jim Mullen for this site, called him the “creator of so many North London scenes and an alto/soprano player of driving enthusiasm, power and creativity.”
Jamie O’Donnell has written: “He was a wonderful alto player and always generous. Christian set up so many great gigs which he would hand out to friends’ bands and he was always letting players sit in on his own gig.”
SOUL SINGER AND SONGWRITER WILLIAM BELL IS NAMED A HERITAGE FELLOW BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
Photo by David McClister
The National Heritage Fellowships are the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Including the 2020 class, the Arts Endowment has awarded 449 National Heritage Fellowships, recognizing artists working in more than 200 distinct art forms, and Stax artist and songwriter William Bell was honored with that incredible distinction.
The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, will present “The Culture of America: A Cross-Country Visit with the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellows,” on March 4, 2021 at 8:00 pm ET. The online event showcases performances by William Bell and other 2020 National Heritage Fellows. Join storyteller Queen Nur as she hosts a virtual trip across the country, taking viewers into the homes and communities where the Fellows live and create. The pre-recorded virtual presentation will be webcast free to the public at arts.gov. No RSVP needed.
Lynda LAW, de Britse zangeres die nu ruim 4 jaar in Vlaanderen leeft wil een lans breken voor slachtoffers van zinloos huiselijk geweld met haar zelfgeschreven nieuw lied FREE ME.
FREE ME is een riem-onder-het-hart lied voor alle mensen, vrouwen of mannen die in een situatie van huiselijk geweld verkeren.
Met de bizarre Covid 19 omstandigheden heeft het de situatie soms nog moeilijker gemaakt voor slachtoffers van huiselijk geweld aangezien ze 24/7 bij hun gewelddadige of mentaal wrede partner zijn zonder enige uitweg.
FREE ME wil daarom een strijdlied zijn voor slachtoffers en hun families.
Huiselijk geweld is nog veel te vaak een taboe onderwerp. Niemand wil graag toegeven in dergelijke situatie te zitten.
Het kan zich zelfs in de sterkste relaties ontwikkelen.
Niets is perfect in het leven, maar er moet een einde komen aan dit zinloos geweld.
Ik hoop dat FREE ME daaraan kan bijdragen.
Via het telefoonnummer 1712 of via www.tele-onthaal.be kan je anoniem praten met een hulpverlener mocht je in een situatie van huiselijk geweld verkeren. Praten helpt.
De eerste afzegging voor Rock Werchter 2021 is een feit. Met Radiohead-frontman Thom Yorke (52) annuleert meteen een grote naam zijn komst naar het festival. Yorke blaast zijn hele tournee af en komt begin juli dus niet naar ons land.
Vorig jaar was het grote publiektrekker Pearl Jam die als eerste verstek gaf. Deze keer neemt Thom Yorke van Radiohead de beslissing: de Britse muzikant – het brein van Radiohead – zegt zijn show op Rock Werchter af. Dat laat de festivalorganisatie weten via haar online kanalen.
Ook in 2020 stond Thom Yorke op de affiche met zijn zijproject Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. Toen blies Rock Werchter zelf de vierdaagse af, nu trekt Yorke er op eigen houtje de stekker uit. Hij annuleert al zijn optredens die deze zomer in Europa en het Verenigd Koninkrijk op de agenda stonden.
Of andere artiesten Yorkes voorbeeld zullen volgen, is koffiedik kijken. De organisatie in Werchter wacht op een beslissing van de overheid om te beslissen of haar festivals dit jaar kunnen plaatsvinden. Die knoop wordt midden maart doorgehakt. Eerder liet festivalbaas Herman Schueremans weten dat hij een latere datum niet uitsluit. (Bron: Nieuwsblad)
Metalfestival Graspop gaat dit jaar niet door, meldt de organisatie vrijdag. De 25ste editie die normaal gezien had moeten plaatsvinden van 17 tot 20 juni 2021 is uitgesteld naar 16 tot en met 19 juni 2022. “We hadden niet liever gewild dan metalfans van over de hele wereld te verwelkomen in Dessel in juni, maar helaas zal dat niet mogelijk zijn”, klinkt het. “De veiligheid van bezoekers, crew en artiesten is steeds onze grootste bezorgdheid.”
Graspop gooit dus voor het tweede jaar op rij (noodgedwongen) de handdoek omwille van de coronacrisis en de onzekerheden die dat met zich meebrengt voor grote publieksevenementen, ook komende zomer nog. Het festival zegt wel “beter en sterker dan ooit” te willen terugkeren in 2022 en zoveel mogelijk bands van de geplande editie van dit jaar te willen overzetten naar volgend jaar. Dat deden ze ook al inzake het uitstel van de editie 2020.
Tickethouders worden binnenkort door Ticketmaster persoonlijk gecontacteerd met meer details, maar volgens Graspop worden de tickets overgeheveld naar 2022. “Onze dank gaat uit naar alle fans die hun tickets lieten overzetten van 2020 naar 2021”, klinkt het nog. “Jullie trouw en steun in deze tijden zijn wat ons rechthoudt.”
Graspop hoopt deze zomer wel nog in een of andere vorm iets te kunnen organiseren, maar daarover zal pas later duidelijkheid zijn. Op de affiche stonden onder meer Aerosmith, Faith No More, Deep Purple, Deftones, Foreigner, Judas Priest, Killing Joke, Korn, The Offspring en Volbeat.
Ook in Nederland werd al aangekondigd dat een aantal festivals niet kunnen doorgaan. Zo zal onder meer Best Kept Secret in Hilvarenbeek niet kunnen plaatsvinden. (bron: Nieuwsblad)
new single by dream pop trio
digital services link
from the album
Los Angeles based dream pop trio Tashaki Miyaki have just released a single and video of the title song from their forthcoming second album, ‘Castaway’, which will be released on 23rd April via Metropolis Records.
Singer, drummer and producer Paige Stark states that the song “is about the challenges of romantic love and how we are all bad at it in one way or another. The idea of a castaway in all this is that no one understands the relationship except the people in it, so you really are stuck on an island alone together there. Maybe you make it back to the mainland, or maybe you stay on the island.”
Stark also shot the Sofia Coppola-inspired video on film, adding: "I wanted to tap into all the feelings that can come up in love relationships: anger, sadness, loneliness, vulnerability, stillness, joy, romance, longing. The actress in it has a beautifully expressive face and I've known her for a long time. I knew we would be able to create those moments together. I wanted it to feel like the camera was her lover, capturing her in various private moments, moods and feelings.”
Tashaki Miyaki are explorers of dreamy, hazy, melodic guitar pop. Though its three members are self-described "California kids", their sound is influenced by far more than west coast attitude. They each have broad tastes that span the Great American Songbook, Sun Records, Doo-Wop, “the 60’s & 70’s things everyone loves”, their hero “Uncle Neil”, Punk, “Everything in the 90’s” and past and current hip-hop.
‘Castaway’ is the follow-up to 2017’s ‘The Dream’ and expands their musical palette while broadening their emotional range via songs circling themes of love, memory and time that are sumultaneously haunting, soothing and arresting.
The album also sees them deconstruct the sound perfected on their debut and reboot. “We decided no wah pedal for most of the record,” explains Stark. “We tried to incorporate new soundscapes. Like, what if there isn’t as much reverb on everything? What would be the less obvious sonic choice? What if everything isn’t as fuzzy and smeary? What sounds have we not tried? What if we let stuff be a little naked? What does that sound like?”
Stark has also pushed her lyrics into a more personal direction. “The album title comes from this thing a friend would say, calling himself a ‘castaway from decent society’. I also feel like a castaway a lot of the time. When I wrote the title track, I was thinking about love and how it changes over time if you stay in something long enough. It gets hard. And sometimes you feel stuck. It’s a pretty melancholy record, I guess. I always try to be direct, but I didn’t have as much life lived on the first record. I saw things very black and white, and perhaps simpler. Now I see a lot more grey and a lot more complexity.”
"We put a lot of heart and soul into making this happen in the midst of all that’s going on. Please check it out, and please share it. We need all y’all to see it, I mean everyone and their dog! Thank you for all of your support!"
De Big Damn Band van dominee Peyton gaf liveshows die bijna leuker zijn dan de wet toestaat. Hun nieuwe album release, Dance Songs For Hard Times, staat gepland voor 9 april via Family Owned Records. De eerste single, "Ways and Means", is echter al de straat op gegaan, samen met een bijbehorende video. Het is geen live nummer, maar je zou het nooit weten.
De goede dominee zelf, geïnspireerd als hij is door wijlen, Great Charley Patton, heeft een krachtig instrument in zijn keel dat hij loslaat, samen met ongelooflijk lenig gitaarwerk. Washboard Breezy zingt, danst en baant zich een weg door het nummer met roekeloze overgave, terwijl drummer Sad Max Senteney speelt alsof het zijn laatste keer achter de kit is.
Al met al is "Ways and Means" een typisch Big Damn Band-nummer, wat wil zeggen dat er niets typisch aan is. Van de wasserette tot de rub-a-dub-dansers, het is een feest bij de schoonmakers en we zijn allemaal uitgenodigd. Vraag het aan je moeder, ze zal hetzelfde zeggen.
James Burke, a member of the classic Chicago soul group the Five Stairsteps died February 19, 2021. He was 70. James Brother and bandmate, Dennis Burke, confirmed James’ death to Rolling Stone, adding that the cause was pneumonia but unrelated to Covid-19 complications.
Formed in the mid-1960s, the Five Stairsteps scored a string of hits, including their 1970 classic “O-o-h Child,” to earn the moniker, “the First Family of Soul.” Burke family patriarch, Clarence Burke, Sr., a former Chicago police detective, formed and managed the group, which consisted of his four sons, Clarence Jr., James, Dennis, and Keni, and daughter, Alohe. The band’s name came from their mother, Betty, who said her children resembled a staircase when lined-up by age and height.
THE LYRICS: 1956 TO THE PRESENT
By Paul McCartney
A self-portrait in 154 songs, by our greatest living songwriter
Edited and introduced by Paul Muldoon
Published by Allen Lane on 2 November 2021
‘More often than I can count, I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right. The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs. I know that some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past, but I have no such notebooks. What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I’ve learned serve much the same purpose. And these songs span my entire life’ Paul McCartney, The Lyrics
In this extraordinary book, with unparalleled candour, Paul McCartney recounts his life and art through the prism of 154 songs from all stages of his career – from his earliest boyhood compositions through the legendary decade of The Beatles, to Wings and his solo albums to the present. Arranged alphabetically to provide a kaleidoscopic rather than chronological account, it establishes definitive texts of the songs’ lyrics for the first time and describes the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now. Presented with this is a treasure trove of material from McCartney’s personal archive – drafts, letters, photographs – never seen before, which make this also a unique visual record of one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
We learn intimately about the man, the creative process, the working out of melodies, the moments of inspiration. The voice and personality of Paul McCartney sings off every page. There has never been a book about a great musician like it.
‘I hope that what I’ve written will show people something about my songs and my life which they haven’t seen before. I’ve tried to say something about how the music happens and what it means to me and I hope what it may mean to others too’ Paul McCartney
‘Based on conversations I had with Paul McCartney over a five year period, these commentaries are as close to an autobiography as we may ever come. His insights into his own artistic process confirm a notion at which we had but guessed — that Paul McCartney is a major literary figure who draws upon, and extends, the long tradition of poetry in English’ Paul Muldoon
Watch the trailer here.
About the authors:
Born in Liverpool in 1942, Paul McCartney was raised in the city and educated at the Liverpool Institute. Since writing his first song at 14, McCartney has dreamed and dared to be different. He lives in England.
Paul Muldoon is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of fourteen full-length collections of poetry, including his new collection Howdie-Skelp.
Irish Blues-Rock Master Guitarist Eamonn McCormack Is a Pure "Storyteller" on New CD, Coming May 21st
BEM Records/Amplified Distribution proudly announces the North American May 21st release of Storyteller, the new album from Irish blues-rock guitar sensation Eamonn (pronounced “A-min”) McCormack. Maybe it’s something in the water over there, because music seems to be embedded into Irish people’s DNA; and international blues-rock singer/songwriter/ guitarist Eamonn McCormack is no exception.
Eamonn McCormack is the latest emerging Irish star and is already well-known throughout Europe. Storyteller is his seventh album and is jam-packed with 11 original tracks, the core of which were recorded live in the studio to capture the true essence of Eamonn and his young energetic band: Eamonn McCormack (guitars, all vocals and harmonica); Edgar Karg (bass guitar): and Max Jung-Poppe (drums and percussion); with additional contributions from producer Arne Wiegand (piano and organ). Going into the studio, the band was still on fire after an ecstatic live performance at Germany’s renowned “Rockpalast” TV show just days before.
“Storyteller is my most personal album to date and I believe it captures snapshots of my life and travels,” McCormack says about the new disc. “For Storyteller, my approach was a little different, too. For starters, I wrote the complete 11 songs sitting on a couch with an acoustic guitar and the record button pressed on my phone, as opposed to electric strapped on my back and putting ideas down track my track in my home studio.
“That different approach seemed to have me focus more on the storyline, the vibe and the melody instead of the guitar riff-based approach. Oddly enough, although written with an acoustic, a couple of tracks end up pretty heavy rock-wise.”
Producer Arne Wigand knows what energy in music is all about, and that’s exactly what he achieved in capturing the “hairs on-the-back-of-your-neck” vibe of the tracks. From the slow, emotional songs to the fast-rocking tracks, Storyteller is a full-throttle musical thrill ride. It offers just the right blend of thoughtful ballads and light-hearted lyrics into the whole mix, too.
“Guitar soloing came to mind after the songs were finished, and I just followed my gut feeling and played them for the song,” McCormack admits about the recording. “For the most part, first takes live in the studio were used. The more I record, the more I realize first takes tend to have a spontaneity emotion to them, sort of a direct link to your inner soul. Maybe even a primal scream flavor, rather than using your head to figure out what licks might work here and there.”
Storyteller is a roller-coaster ride of feelings, as Eamonn takes listeners through his stories and a glimpse deep into his inner soul, gripping your emotions in all the right places. Before the end of the first song, it’s apparent that this is no ordinary guitar player fresh from the University of YouTube lessons; this is as real as it gets, performed from someone who has lived it!
“The first track on the album, ‘The Great Famine,’ is rather personal to me,” he says, “because it's a dark part of our Irish history and one my great-grand-parents lived through. We had studied it in high school, and for decades I wanted to write a song about this sad event that happened. My manager visited an exhibition about the Great Famine in Dublin, and when I picked him up at the door, there was a large black and white picture from that period, so I took a photo of it and said to him, ‘OK, now I have the photo to remind me, it's time now to write that song.’”
Many musical influences creep into Storyteller, as listeners hear how unique and diverse he really is, which separates him from most; and the one interesting personal achievement is the fact that Eamonn actually got to play, tour and record with most of his childhood idols, including everyone from Rory Gallagher to ZZ Top and Johnny Winter to Walter Trout.
As a live performer, he is as exciting as it gets; no gimmicks, just pure energy and emotion. Eamonn’s a true road warrior who performs mostly original songs, but when he does play a cover puts his very own stamp on it. He’s also a festival favorite that has got to rock some of the biggest and best-known festivals in the world.
Eamonn McCormack was born in the center of Dublin, and raised in a north side suburb. He started playing guitar at six, and by 12 had already decided he would dedicate his life to being a musician and becoming the best he could be. Soon, the young teenager acquired his first electric guitar (a Guild Starfire), progressed to lead guitar and joined a local garage cover band prior to playing his first paid gig. At 16, Eamonn performed live on a national Irish radio show soon won a major high school competition performing his own material. By then, his personal musical favorites included Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Thin Lizzy and Dutch group Focus.
After a short stint playing in various bands throughout Ireland, Eamonn headed off to the USA, where he performed extensively. He later joined a band in California that was an offshoot from Canned Heat and JJ Cale once showed up to jam with them. There, he broadened his musical horizons, gained vital stage experience and absorbed fresh American music and cultural influences. This blended together nicely with his earlier influences.
Returning to Ireland after four years traveling and performing in the States, Eamonn was by then developing a very unique style and sound all of his own. This style was solidified while Eamonn performed live extensively under the stage name, “Samuel Eddy,” establishing himself across Europe the hard way through a grueling tour schedule. Samuel Eddy and his band were rewarded for their efforts and garnered the reputation as major European music festival favorites.
Eamonn as Samuel Eddy signed with Universe Productions/Virgin Records and later SPV Records worldwide, recording three critically-acclaimed studio albums that sold very well, confirming an exciting young up-and-coming world-class guitarist was emerging out of Ireland.
Throughout the last decade or so, a young Eamonn played, toured and recorded with many of his earliest guitar influences, such as Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Jan Akkerman, Pat Travers, Walter Trout, Brian “Robbo” Robertson (Thin Lizzy) and Nils Lofgren. Another highlight of this period was Eamonn and his band’s unforgettable performance at the Parkpop Festival in Holland to an audience of half a million people, sharing the bill with Robert Plant among others. Eamonn also got to play the prestigious “Rockpalast” in Germany on a bill with Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Band that was televised and broadcast across Europe.
On his own label, Eamonn decided to release a “best-of “ type album, consisting mainly of re-mastered Samuel Eddy tracks, along with eight newer un-released songs engineered in Dublin by Paul Thomas (U2, Phil Lynott), before finishing a great year successfully with a blinding show opening for the legendary ZZ Top in Amsterdam. He also decided to drop his old moniker and revert to his real name, Eamonn McCormack. His “best-of” album, Kindred Spirits, was a great success and featured older tracks with such special guests as Rory Gallagher and Jan Akkerman.
Following the success of Kindred Spirits, Eamonn decided to take a break from the road, travel the world and write some new material. Along the way, he jammed with various artists in the USA, Mexico and Hong Kong, before returning to the studio - this time in Germany - and recorded his fifth album, Heal My Faith, on In Akustik Records. The album was very well received and it put Eamonn back full-time firmly on the road as a recording/touring artist.
Eamonn followed up with a double album recorded and produced in the UK by the late Grammy- nominated Chris Tsangarides (Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy), and his band consisted of Jonathan Noyce (Jethro Tull) on bass & Darrin Mooney (Gary Moore) on drums. The album, Like There’s No Tomorrow, which garnered five-star reviews across-the-board, featured one disc of electric playing and the other acoustic-based, proving Eamonn’s talent as an accomplished acoustic writer and performer, as well as showcasing his other skills on harmonica and mandolin.
More touring and mind-blowing festival appearances followed, as agents and equipment companies started pursuing Eamonn with the kind of fervor reserved for only a select few top-tier musicians. New management and new label have come on board, and the highlight to last year and the end of a decade, was Eamonn being invited to perform again on “Rockpalast” in Germany alongside Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Storyteller is the product of all the musical, spiritual and physical journeys Eamonn McCormack has traveled over the last 10 years, and he invites the listener to sit back and enjoy the ride with him. And never, ever, ever think of missing him live when he’s in your area!
Status Quotes is een band met een missie en die is het eren van de muziek van de legendarische Engelse band Status Quo en dan met name de roemruchte jaren ‘70, toen Quo rockte als geen ander.
Een zeer succesvolle band ook. De Nederlandse band speelde in 2019 o.a. op de International Quo Convention in Minehead, Engeland voor een uitzinnig publiek waaronder de originele Quo-leden bassist Alan Lancaster en drummer John Coghlan.
Status Quo producer John Eden heeft de onlangs verschenen single “Your Smiling Face'' (van dat optreden) gemixed en gemastered. Hij nam dit nummer in 1978 op met Quo in de Wisseloord studio in Hilversum. Het nummer is in digitale vorm uitgebracht en beschikbaar via de bekende platforms.
Hier een link naar John Eden 's filmpje over de samenwerking:
Hier de link naar een promo ervan:
Op 6 maart is de release van de DVD “Status Quotes - Live! In Minehead”. Een registratie van het eerder genoemde headline optreden op de driedaagse Fanclub Convention in de UK.
STATUS QUOTES - LIVE! IN MINEHEAD, DVD promoteaser ( Status Quo Tribute) - YouTube
Een en ander zal worden ondersteund met een DVD livestream releaseshow waarin Status Quotes een volledig concert doet via: https://www.mellomusic.live/
Ticket en info link: www.statusquotes.nl
Toon Eppink – gitaar/zang
Raymond Nijenhuis – gitaar/zang
Harry Kruisselbrink – bas/harmonica/zang
Rens Hardijzer – drums
Gene Summers born David Eugene Summers (January 3, 1939 – February 17, 2021) was born in Dallas, Texas. Gene was married to songwriter Deanna Summers from 1961 until her death in 2017. They have three sons Dusty, Steve, and Shawn. Gene's family posted news of his death on his Facebook page after a month-long hospitalization due to an injury sustained at home.
Gene graduated from Duncanville High School in 1957 and attended Arlington State College, now known as the University of Texas at Arlington. That same year, he formed the rockabilly band The Rebels and performed on Joe Bill's Country Picnic on KRLD-TV where they were spotted by songwriter Jed Tarver. This led to the band being signed by newly founded Jan Records. Their first record was released on February 1, 1958, under the name of Gene Summers & His Rebels.
Gene was an American rock singer. His recordings include "School of Rock 'n Roll", "Straight Skirt", "Nervous", "Gotta Lotta That", "Twixteen", "Alabama Shake", "Fancy Dan" and his biggest-selling single "Big Blue Diamonds". Gene was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1997 and The Southern Legends Entertainment & Performing Arts Hall of Fame in 2005. He still performed worldwide and celebrated his 50th anniversary as a recording artist in 2008 with the release of Reminisce Cafe.
Gene, who was still popular on the back of two regional hits "Straight Skirt"/"School Of Rock 'n Roll", and "Nervous"/"Gotta Lotta That", was playing in east Dallas at the 123 Club with his new group of Rebels which included lead guitarist and original Rebel James McClung, bass player Jack Castleberry, drummer Charlie Mendias and Codine Craft on piano. When Craft married and left the band, she was replaced by pianist/frontman C.W. Kendall formerly of the Big Beats - "Clark's Expedition" and "The Big Beats Live At The Off-Broadway" an LP issued by Liberty Records. By May 1961, Gene and the Tom Toms were touring the US with the Chuck Berry show. The Tom Toms continued to make music through the first part of 1965 playing, primarily, at the Guthrey Club in Dallas at Corinth and Industrial, before splitting up later that year, for a variety of personal and professional reasons.
Andra Day lost 40 pounds, smoked cigarettes and drank spirits to portray Billie Holiday.
The 36-year-old actress-and-singer went through a major body transformation and consumed alcohol and tobacco to play the late jazz legend in Lee Daniels' upcoming biopic, 'The United States vs. Billie Holiday'.
Based on the book 'Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs,' the documentary film follows Holiday (Day) in the 1940s as she is targeted by the government in an effort to racialize the war on drugs, ultimately aiming to stop her from singing her controversial song, 'Strange Fruit'.
And in order to depict the 'I’ll Be Seeing You' hitmaker's heavy drinking and heroin addiction and to get a "period body", Andra decided to lose weight, which made her feel "very weak on set", drink gin and bourbon, and smoke, despite not being a drinker or smoker.
In an interview with W magazine, she said: "There was the drastic weight loss. So I was originally 163 when I started. I got down to 124. I don't necessarily recommend.
"For me, it was like I didn't want my body to look like a gym body of 2020, or 2019 at the time. For me, it was important having a period body. The other thing is it made me very weak on set and slowed me down in a way that really helped with the heroin."
The two-time Golden Globes nominee insisted you are "not really supposed to" do any of the above, but it really helped her channel Holiday - who died from complications from cirrhosis of the liver on July 17, 1959 at age 44.
She continued: "I started smoking cigarettes, which I don't do. I don't smoke anything. First of all, I have no frame of reference for myself smoking, so it makes me feel like her. It slows me down. She's like molasses - I'm very fast. And when I had to do scenes where I was high on heroin, it really helped my physical body to nod in a way that I was just focusing on the emotion. And I don't drink alcohol, but I did drink a lot of gin and bourbon and all of that stuff, even though you're really not supposed to do that."
The 'Marshall' star was willing to do anything to her appearance not to be "terrible" at her portrayal of the Grammy-winner.
She added: "Look, I was desperate. I didn't want to be terrible, so I was like, 'Whatever we have to do in this moment, for this role. Cut off all my hair."
De geliefde Australische singer-songwriter RY X komt op zondag 13 maart 2022 naar De Roma in Antwerpen. Tickets zijn te koop vanaf vrijdag 26 februari om 11u via livenation.be en deroma.be.
Zijn verstilde gitaarspel, zijn breekbare, ijle stemgeluid én een vleugje subtiele elektronica: meer heeft RY X niet nodig om zijn publiek onder te dompelen in zijn dromerige muzikale universum. Na het onwaarschijnlijke succes van de minimalistische parel 'Berlin' in 2013 en debuutalbum 'Dawn' in 2016 veroverde de Australische singer-songwriter in geen tijd de wereld. Begin dit jaar bracht de Australiër zijn voorlopig laatste album uit. Op 'Live from the Royal Albert Hall' hoor je de volledige live-set die hij in de iconische zaal speelde samen met het London Contemporary Orchestra.
Live is RY X een unieke ervaring, zo bewees hij twee jaar geleden ook in de broeierige KluB C op Rock Werchter. Met zijn nieuwe tour staat de nu al legendarische singer-songwriter voor het eerst sinds lang nog eens op Europese bodem.
Dit concert is een co-productie van Live Nation en De Roma.
VRIJDAG 26 FEBRUARI, 11:00
€ 32 - € 30
Naar aanleiding van de genomen maatregelen door de Belgische regering om het coronavirus (COVID-19) in te dijken, kunnen veel evenementen niet plaatsvinden op de voorziene datum. Het concert van Amy Macdonald, dat zou plaatsvinden op 22 april 2021 in Ancienne Belgique, wordt hierdoor uitgesteld naar zondag 6 maart 2022.
Tickethouders worden persoonlijk via mail gecontacteerd.
Er zijn nog tickets te koop voor deze nieuwe datum, meer info via livenation.be.
De gezondheid en veiligheid van artiesten, fans en medewerkers is onze grootste prioriteit. Blijf de richtlijnen van de overheden opvolgen. Zorg voor jezelf en elkaar.
(INCL. MOBILITEIT & SERVICEKOSTEN)
Van de Amerikaanse zanger/singersongwriter/gitarist Tim Scott McConnell is “Black Valley” zijn vijfde solo-album onder de noemer Ledfoot. McConnell is al actief sinds de jaren 70 als solo-artiest en als lid van diverse formaties. In de jaren 80 genoot hij vooral bekendheid als lid van The Rockats en in de jaren 90 met de band The Havalinas. In die laatste hoedanigheid tourde McConnell o.a. als voorprogramma van Bob Dylan tijdens zijn “No Mercy”-tour in Engeland en Frankrijk. Als componist schreef hij vele songs voor uiteenlopende acts van TNT (rock) tot Sheena Easton (pop). Belangrijkste wapenfeit is dat hij de track “High Hopes” schreef van het gelijknamige album van Bruce Springsteen uit 2014. In 2007 verscheen zijn debuut-album “The Devil’s Songbook” onder de naam Ledfoot; “I put together the different techniques from over 30 years of playing, combined a 12-string guitar with steel fingerpicks, a brass slide, open-tuning, very heavy strings and a stomp box, mixing this with a dark lyrical & melodic sense and dubbing it ‘gothic blues’, a sound close to the murder ballad tradition”. Vorig jaar verscheen van Ledfoot nog het meer melodische singersongwriter duo-album “A Death Divine” dat hij samen met TNT’s Ronni Le Tekro opnam, maar “Black Valley” is de ware opvolger van zijn vierde album “White Crow” dat in 2019 een Spellemansprisen (een soort van Noorse Grammy) won in de categorie ‘Best Blues Album’!
The Paris-born electronic music duo Daft Punk are no more. The group, consisting of French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, confirmed the breakup with an eight-minute video titled “Epilogue” excerpted from their 2006 science fiction film Electroma, according to Pitchfork, which also confirmed the news with Daft Punk’s publicist.
Daft Punk formed in 1993 in Paris and would go on to have a monumental effect on the emerging house and techno scenes of Europe and later all of pop music around the globe, with landmark albums like 1997’s Homework and 2001’s Discovery and singles like “Around the World” and “One More Time.”
A standout of Daft Punk’s early career included the anime film ‘Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem’. It told a visualized narrative of their album Discovery in partnership with legendary Japanese studio Toei Animation and manga artist Leiji Matsumoto.
The duo became increasingly elusive throughout the 2000s as they retreated behind their signature robotic helmets and made sparingly few public appearances and even fewer interviews. Though even as they paused production on follow-up albums after 2005’s Human After All, Daft Punk stayed relevant through prescient infusions of dance music into mainstream culture.
They licensed “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” to rapper Kanye West for his 2007 single “Stronger” and the duo put the Coachella Music Festival on the map with an absurd, expensive, and unforgettable performance the year prior when they debuted their now-iconic pyramid stage. They also produced their first film score with the Tron: Legacy soundtrack in 2010.
In 2013, Daft Punk released Random Access Memories, an album dedicated to live instrumentation and the American roots of funk and disco. It went on to win numerous Grammy Awards and cemented Daft Punk as legends of genre-blending pop music. It would be their final album.
Gene Taylor, a boogie-woogie blues piano player and singer, who as a teenager in Los Angeles performed with such blues legends as Big Joe Turner and T-Bone Walker, and later as a longtime member of The Blasters and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, died Saturday (February 20, 2021). The news of Taylor’s death at age 68 was announced by musician Dave Alvin, who noted that his friend and longtime bandmate in the Blasters had died in his sleep in Austin, Tex.
“At 17 he had a full beard, could easily buy booze, smoked cigars and, most importantly, was already a boogie/blues piano master,” wrote Alvin in his tribute. “All of us Blasters were always odd ducks and odd balls and Gene was no different. Through the years we could fight verbally and physically but we never lost sight of who we were, where we came from, who we learned from and who we loved.”
Taylor was born in Norwalk, Calif., a Los Angeles suburb, on July 2, 1952. At the age of eight, he came under the influence of a family of blues and boogie-woogie players who moved in next door. After starting out with the drums, he switched to the piano and the guitar at age 10. He learned very quickly playing by ear and, at age 11, he began performing with his best friend Jim Payne and Jim’s parents. They worked occasional neighborhood functions, playing country music.
Having lost both his parents and brother by the age of 15, Taylor was firmly committed to the life of a musician. After obtaining his driver’s license at age 16—and looking much older, thanks to an already-receding hairline—he started finding local work with such L.A.-based blues legends as Big Joe Turner, T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson and Pee-Wee Crayton. In his own words, “Well, I was playing good boogie-woogie and pretty fair blues at this point, and going to blues jams with my fake ID. Since I was young and would work cheap, I was hired by these guys sometimes as a fill-in on local gigs for the older piano players who weren’t available or wanted too much money!” During this period, he met both James Harman and Phil and Dave Alvin—who later formed The Blasters.
After working for Harman during most of 1974, Taylor was asked to join Canned Heat, which he did until 1976—giving him his first international exposure.
In 1978, Taylor moved to Toronto, Canada, to play music with his friend Morgan Davis, a well-known Canadian bluesman. He was based in Canada for some time, though he continued to perform with other artists world-wide. During his years there he played and recorded with many musicians, including Ronnie Hawkins. During this period he also was a member of The Amos Garrett, Doug Sahm, Gene Taylor Band—releasing a Juno Award-winning album, The Return of the Formerly Brothers (1987) and another recording, Live in Japan (1990).
While working with James Harman again, in 1981, Taylor was asked to join the Blasters–a roots band that blended rockabilly, early rock ‘n’ roll, and country influences–that was composed of four friends from his teenage years (Phil and Dave Alvin, John Bazz and Bill Bateman). He played with them for four years, recording four critically acclaimed albums including their 1981 self-titled release.
In between Blasters engagements, Taylor also toured with Rick Nelson. In 1986, Taylor released his first solo album, Handmade. Veteran record label executive Bill Bentley shared a story of how the album was made.
“Gene and Blasters’ drum whiz Bill Bateman showed up one day at Amigo Studio in North Hollywood and off we went,” he wrote in his tribute. “The album was going to be just piano and drums. What else did you need when the musicians were those two? As the day turned to night, things got good and steamy in the studio. Around three in the morning, all that was left to drink was vodka and Squirt, and that was good enough for Gene. He’d stripped down to his boxer shorts and hightop army boots, playing the piano like his life depended on it. Because it probably did.
“After adding Canned Heat’s bassist Larry Taylor, Sheiks of Shake harmonica ace Louie Lista and Earth, Wind & Fire’s tenor player Andrew Woolfolk later to a few songs, the album was done. Not many people heard it, and I learned I just didn’t have the patience to produce records, even an album that took two days. But boy was it fun trying.”
The Fabulous Thunderbirds, fall, 1995. L-R: Willie J. Campbell, Gene Taylor, Kim Wilson, Fran Christina, Kid Ramos
After leaving the Blasters, Taylor worked around Canada as a solo artist and with the Downchild Blues Band—a band that, years before, had inspired their fellow-Canadian Dan Aykroyd to create the Blues Brothers. He did more Blasters tours in 1991-1992.
In 1993, Taylor relocated to Austin, Tex., and joined the Fabulous Thunderbirds, continuing with them until 2006, while touring constantly and recording two studio albums and one live album with the band, and on two of T-Bird leader Kim Wilson’s solo CDs. In between, Taylor released a self-titled CD and participated in all the tours and recordings of the “Original Blasters Reunion” from 2002-2003.