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Blues Traveler - hurry up & hang around [2018]
Sie sind noch immer, bzw. wieder, in einer fantastischen Verfassung. Die großartigen Root-/Jamrock-Veteranen um Mastermind und Harp-Wizard John Popper präsentieren mit ihrem neuen, nunmehr 13. Studioalbum, ein absolutes Prachtteil ab, das die große Blues Traveler-Fanbase vollstens überzeugen wird. Tolles Songmaterial, große Spielfreude, hervorragend hängen bleibendes Material, Abwechslungsreichtum - einfach stark!

Hier noch ein Original U.S.-Review:

Blues Traveler has always been a band that lets their sound, travel, if you will. Along the winding path of their career, the one constant has been change. "Save His Soul" sounded nothing like "Four", which sounded nothing like "Truth Be Told", which sounded nothing like "Blow Up The Moon". They have always been chasing something, but what exactly that is has always been nebulous. In the beginning, the strove for respect. Then they strove for the status they deserved. Then they strove to regain their place. And finally, they strove to make themselves happy. That leaves us with a string of records that hold together, but form a patchwork that draws your attention to a different area each time. And even when they are taking a detour that might not be your choice, there are always interesting twists that make it worth your while to take the ride with them.
With the band having reached a milestone of longevity, the question of how to commemorate that brings them back (nearly) full circle. While their last couple records have seen Blues Traveler injecting their sound with pop songwriters in the search for the perfect collaboration, "Hurry Up & Hang Around" finds them stripping back to the garage band they started out as. This is the most classically Blues Traveler album they have made, in approach, in many a year.
Our first taste of this chapter came from the opening track, "Accelerated Nation", which came out of the gates in traditional Blues Traveler form. Sounding like a mix of all their eras, the song fused their classic sound with the polished writing of their modern work, giving us a song that fits the same mold "Most Precarious" did (and sadly never got credit for - that was a better single than it is remembered as).
Longtime fans will recognize bits and pieces that should evoke a smile, like how John Popper's melody in the verses of "She Becomes My Way" stretches a syllable or two longer than anyone else would write it. Those are the details that I have always appreciated, both as a fan and as a songwriter. Every writer and every band has idiosyncrasies that pop up, which I think got too smoothed out with the amount of collaboration they had been doing lately. Even when they were writing great songs, like "Matador" was, they didn't have those trademark elements. Hearing them again is a treat.
Another one pops up on "Daddy Went A Giggin'", where Popper's melody in the verses, and some of the feel of the instrumental, is somewhat pulled from his solo album, "Zygote" (the song "His Own Hands" in particular). The songwriting on this record is a throwback to the "Four" and "Straight On Til Morning" period, but more concise than they were back then. The band has been constantly trimming away the excess from their old tendencies, which leaves us with a lean record. Old fans might think there's a looseness missing from the recordings, but it shows how their focus has shifted over the years towards sharp songwriting.
The thing about being a Blues Traveler fan is that we can argue over which of their experiments are our favorites. Some of us will love how gritty and heavy they got on "Bastardos!", while others will appreciate the slickness of "Truth Be Told". This one, though, feels like the right record for an anniversary period, because it is the one record since "Four" that best captures every side of the band.
Given how much the world has changed since "Run Around" and "Hook" were near the top of the charts, it's a good decision that the band is no longer trying to chase a hit, and is instead writing music that is befitting of their status. There are clover hooks and strong melodies, but they integrate into the core of the band's sound, rather than sounding like the token attempt to appeal to a demographic that no longer exists. Look, I love "Girl Inside My Head" and "Amber Awaits" too, but even then there no longer existed the proper outlet for them to become mainstream hits.
"Hurry Up & Hang Around" is a record made for Blues Traveler fans by the biggest fans of them all, the band. At this stage of their career, that's exactly what most people want to hear. And listening to the results, I can't argue. This record will make any Blues Traveler fan happy, and it will reset things so the next experiment is more welcome. (Bloody Good Music / Chris C)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Accelerated Nation - 3:04
2. She Becomes My Way - 3:51
3. The Touch She Has - 4:22
4. When You Fall Down - 3:32
5. The Wolf Is Bumpin - 3:48
6. Daddy Went a Giggin - 3:43
7. Tangle Of Our Dreaming - 3:36
8. More Than Truth - 3:02
9. Prayer Upon The Wind - 2:20
10. Miss Olympus - 4:02
11. Phone Call From Leavenworth - 4:35
12. Ode From The Aspect - 4:55

Art-Nr.: 9717
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 15,90

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Brooks, Kix - new to this town [2012]
Brooks & Dunn sind Geschichte, doch nach Ronnie Dunn kommt nun auch die andere Häfte des erfolgreichsten Country-Duos aller Zeiten mit einem Solo-Album! "New to this town" heisst das hervorragend gelungene Werk, mit dem Kix Brooks eindrucksvoll offenbart, was er auch ohne seinen kongenialen Partner in der Lage zu leisten ist. 12 starke Nummern, zumeist sehr kraftvoll und knackig in Szene gesetzt (der Balladen-Anteil ist klar in der Minderzahl), zwischen traditionellen Anlagen und sehr abwechslungsreichem, zuweilen durchaus rockigem New Country. Gast, Slide-Gitarrist und Duett-Partner beim Titelstück ust übrigens Joe Walsh (The Eagles). Die Musik passt durchaus zur Philosophie, die auch Brooks & Dunn verkörperten, hat aber auch ihren eigenen Pep. Die Melodien sind prima! Gratulation an Kix Brooks zu diesem großartigen Album!

Wen es interessiert: Hier im Original eine sehr ausführliche, aktuelle Biographie mit der Geschichte zum neuen Album im Original-Wortlaut:

"Wish I was new to this town
Just pullin’ in checking it out for the first time”
— “New to This Town” by Kix Brooks, Marv Green and Terry McBride

It’s been more than 30 years since Kix Brooks was new to the town that he made his home, where he married, raised two children and built an accomplished career as a songwriter, singer and half of the most successful duo in country music history, a weekly national radio show host, magazine columnist, film producer, actor, winery owner and active and influential member of the music industry and community at large.

And yet here he is, picking up where he started when he really was new to this town, when his very first solo single in 1983 lumbered up the country chart to #73 before being hijacked by gravity into oblivion.

“New to This Town” is the title cut from the album that he hopes will reintroduce him to music fans, not exactly as a brand new man—to borrow a phrase from a song he co-wrote many moons ago—but as his own man, with his own songs to sing and his own unique story to tell.
Though the song is about a romantic relationship, metaphorically it suggests another interpretation. “When you’re starting out, there’s so much fear that if you screw up or put out the wrong record, you’ve lost that chance to live your dream. At this point in my career, there’s a different kind of uncertainty and risk that the people who have seen me perform for 20 years as half of Brooks & Dunn won’t be able to see me as anything but that. So in that sense, being new to town would be good to be able to do again.”

Kix Brooks’ career as a musician began long before he came to Nashville, which is less than 100 miles from where the Louisiana native was shipped off for high school at Tennessee’s Sewanee Military Academy. “I wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t good,” he confesses with a smile. “The discipline was good for me. It gave me structure and problem-solving skills, which are really helpful for creative people.”

Brooks grew up in a musical family, had his first guitar before he hit his teens, and while in Sewanee, he began playing coffee houses with his roommate, Nashville native Jody Williams. “Jody turned me on to the Opry,” expanding the range of country music that Brooks already loved. “I was a fan of bluegrass, rock and outlaw country, people like Willie, Cash and Roger Miller. I loved the Allman Brothers, Leon Russell, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Asleep at the Wheel, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker. ”
After graduation, he went to Louisiana Tech, gaining a foundational education in reading music and the theory of composition while getting hands-on experience playing clubs around town. Realizing that he wasn’t cut out to be in the marching band, school choir, or orchestra—which were required for a music degree—he switched his major to speech and got into theater, both of which would later serve him well.

A brief sabbatical from school led him to Alaska in 1976, working for his dad, a pipeline contractor. The job was great seed money, he recalls, “So when I got home, I bought a new car, a new guitar, a bottle of whiskey, and I was ready to get back at it.

“I had a band and I did some solo stuff. I could bang on a guitar and open up for just about anybody playing clubs in Shreveport. My plan was to be somebody.”
But an invitation from his sister put “Plan A” on hold. “She called me out of the blue and asked if I would come to Maine and help her with a television production company. So I was doing radio and television production, commercials, and it was a great experience. But I was also playing clubs and was still drawn to that. I enjoyed advertising, I enjoyed Maine. But in my heart of hearts, I just wanted to play music.”

So he took off again for Louisiana but stopped in Nashville to visit with his old roommate Jody Williams. “We stayed up all night talking and playing music, and Jody tried to talk me into staying. He said I could make a living writing songs. I said, ‘A, you’re nuts, and B, I’m going to New Orleans to play music.’”
But as fun as it was, the pace—and the partying—began to take a toll. “I called Jody up and said, ‘Do you really think I could make a living writing songs?’ and he said, ‘Get your ass up here!’”

True to his word, Williams gave Brooks a place to crash and found him a job with a concert production company while arranging meetings for him with music publishers around town.

“Everybody was really nice for about half a song, and then I wrote some more songs and called them back, and everyone was always out to lunch. So I started breaking songs down and figuring out what these guys were doing, which doesn’t mean you can do it, but at least I did my homework and really started working harder at trying to figure out how to do it. I realized it was one thing to make people smile in bars and another thing to make a living as a songwriter in Nashville.”
His hard work paid off, and less than two years after pulling into town, Brooks had a publishing deal and a #1 cut. Some things didn’t pan out, like his first album in 1983 on a label that went defunct before the album was released and a 1989 album on Capitol that went nowhere fast.
But he was making a living—a good living—writing songs for Tree Publishing, where exec Paul Worley took some of his demos to veteran music man Tim DuBois, head of the Arista Nashville record label. DuBois suggested that Brooks write with the winner of a talent competition, a tall, big-voiced Texan named Ronnie Dunn. When DuBois heard their song demos, the rest became Brooks & Dunn history.

In their 20-year ride, the duo recorded 10 studio albums, released 50 singles, scored 23 #1 hits, sold more than 30 million albums, sold out tours from coast to coast and became one of the most awarded acts in country music history.

But in August of 2009, they revealed what had long been a topic between the partners themselves: that after a final tour and a final compilation album, Brooks & Dunn would be no more.

“It was always an arranged marriage that happened to work out really well and produce some great kids. But after 20 amazing, dream-like years, it was time.”
As for the notion of recording a solo album, Brooks took his time—or as much time as realistic for someone who owns a thriving winery, hosts a weekly syndicated radio show, forms a film production company, takes on roles in three movies and writes all but one of the songs for the soundtrack for the western To Kill a Memory, as well as co-writing the soundtrack for a Christmas movie.

“I have a lot of interests, and I wasn’t at that point thinking of what I would do next. I was kind of looking forward to chilling for a year or so. I wanted to take my time. I started writing during the last B&D tour, and when we got done, I kept writing while we were making movies.”
When the time felt right, Brooks approached his album with customary enthusiasm, producing and recording nearly 50 songs before beginning the challenging process of narrowing the field. “There were a few like [the Brooks/Leslie Satcher co-write] ‘Moonshine Road’ that I was sort of building the album around,” he says, “so you try to take the ones that fit the other songs the best, that fit you best, or where the track is just smoking.”

The result is a record that is emphatically and uniquely Kix Brooks—rocking, smoky, swampy and bluesy, with belts of bayou and hits of Cajun zydeco. Nine of the album’s dozen tracks bear Brooks’ name as a co-writer, collaborating with such longtime friends and writing luminaries as Bob DiPiero and David Lee Murphy (on the lyrically clever “Closin’ Time at Home”), Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson (for the mid-tempo musical celebration of “Bring It on Home”), and Marv Green and Terry McBride on “New to This Town,” the title track single that almost didn’t make the album.

“We were kind of done with everything, I had recorded the album, and Jay DeMarcus and I were doing the soundtrack for a Christmas movie over at his house. But I was thinking about that song, so he was nice enough to help me produce it and let me use the pickers while we were working there. He really liked the song, so I said, ‘Let’s do it together.’”

Later, “The engineer from my radio show said, ‘You ought to get some Joe Walsh-sounding slide on that.’ I’m like, ‘Hmm, what if I could get Joe Walsh?’ My manager is partners with Irving Azoff, who sent it to Joe, and he called me up and put the slide on there for me. So that worked out great.”
In a new-to-this-town, full-circle touch, the album also features two songs that Brooks wrote with Rafe Van Hoy. With Deborah Allen, they penned Brooks’ first #1 as a songwriter (John Conlee’s ’83 chart-topper, “I’m Only in It for the Love”), and they pair here on the backsliding fun of “Complete 360” and team with Curly Putman on the groove-and-soul-filled, after-hours portrait of “my baby’s” “Tattoo.”

Now, with his album complete, Brooks is just looking forward to getting it into the hands of fans and resuming the solo career that began long ago when his entire plan “was to be somebody.”

“That fear I had at one point in my career where you’re scared to death to make the wrong move, I don’t feel that way now. But you still really want to do something that is relevant and makes people rock, and look out at a crowd and know you have connected, you’ve hit that nerve. I don’t think you ever get over that.”

(This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. New to this Town - 4:20
2. Moonshine Road - 4:21
3. Bring It On Home - 3:44
4. There's the Sun - 3:05
5. Complete 360 - 3:16
6. My Baby - 2:55
7. Tattoo - 3:25
8. In the Right Place - 3:47
9. Next to That Woman - 3:21
10. Let's Do This Thing - 2:57
11. Closin' Time at Home - 3:37
12. She Knew I Was a Cowboy - 3:22

Art-Nr.: 7907
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 13,90

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Trigger Hippy - full circle & then some [2019]
Wow! Trigger Hippy leben - und wie! Ihr neues, erst zweites, einmal mehr herausragendes Album "Full Circle & Then Some" ist einerseits die Fortführung ihres musikalischen Weges, den sie vor 5 Jahren mit ihrem fantastischen Debutalbum einschlugen, aber auch so etwas wie ein ungemein erfrischender, kraftvoller, ja brillanter Neustart des Bandprojektes von Drummer Steve Gorman (einstiges Gründungsmitglied der The Black Crowes) und dem famosen Bassist und Songwriter Nick Govrik. Nachdem Gitarrist Tom Bukovac, Multi-Instrumentalist Jackie Greene und die großartige Joan Osborne das Quintett nicht allzu lange nach der Debutveröffentlichung verließen, schien es lange so, als sei das Ganze nur ein sehr kurzlebiges Projekt gewesen, doch nun haben Gorman und Govrik mit dem exzellenten Sänger, Songwriter und Gitarristen Ed Jurdi (The Band Of Heathens) und der tollen Sängerin Amber Woodhouse (steht ihrer Vorgängerin Joan Osborne auch stimmlich in wirklich nichts nach) zwei neue, hochkarätige Mitstreiter installiert, was sich fürTrigger Hippy wie eine Wiedergeburt anfühlt, aber eine, die gleich voll im Saft steht. Was seinerzeit für die Erstbesetzung und das Debut galt, trifft auch auf das neue Line-Up und das zweite, überaus ambitionierte Werk unumwunden zu: "What a helluva band and what a helluvan album"! Die Band spielt einen geradezu genialen Mix aus Rock-, Soul-, Blues-, R&B-, Funk-, Gospel-, Roots-, Americana- und Country-Zutaten, gepaart mit den Erfahrungen und der Spielfreude des Jamrock-Dunstkreises und jeder Menge Southern-Spirit. Was sind hier für exzellente Musiker am Werk. Wir hören wunderbare Grooves, vielschichtige Gitarrenarrangements, klasse Melodien, spüren die Spielfreude der Akteure, und werden mit ausnahmslos exzellentem Songmaterial verwöhnt. Die Truppe spielt wie aus einem Guß. Die Einflüsse und musikalischen Spuren sind sehr breit gefächert. Das geht von The Black Crowes und den Rolling Stones über The Allman Brothers Band und der Tedeschi Trucks Band, bis hin zu The Band, Little Feat, The Band Of Heathens und Will Hoge. Mit am Start sind im übrigen noch eine ganze Schaar illustrer, musikalischer Gäste, die entscheidend zu Gelingen dieses tollen Albuns beitragen, wie etwa ex-"Hippy" Tom Bukovac (mandolin), Sadler Vaden von Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (guitar), Audley Freed (guitar), Robbie Crowell (piano, organ), Spencer Cullim (pedal steel), Mickey Raphael (harmonica), und viele mehr. Das Album beginnt mit dem herrlichen Roots-/Groove-Rocker "Don't wanna bring you down", der voller Jam- und Southern-Flair steckt, angesiedelt irgendwo zwischen dem absoluten Band of Heathens-Topmaterial und Little Feat. Ed Jurdi, Nick Govrik und Amber Woodhouse steuern allesamt Lead Gesangs-Passagen bei (auch bei vielen anderen Tracks ist das so) und brillieren mit prächtigen Harmonies. Die Melodie ist blendend, der Groove unwiderstehlich (tolle Percussion). Wunderbar auch die bestens eingefügten Slideguitar-Momente und das entsprechend integrierte Piano. Welch ein famoser Auftakt, was für ein Spirit! Und auf diesem hohen Niveau geht es weiter. Zum Beispiel mit dem mächtig funky rockenden, mittendrin von einem kleinen Blues-Break und Gitarrensolo unterbrochenen, kernigen "The butcher's daughter", dem hinreißend schönen, von herrlicher Pedal Steel Guitar durchzogenen, fast ein wenig an die legendären New Riders of the Purple Sage erinnernden Americana-/Countryrocker "Strung out on the pain" (toller, klarer Sound, großartiger Gesang von Jurdi und Woodhouse), dem rattenscharfen, drückenden, mit pumpenden funky Grooves aufwartenden, sehr jammig und psychedelisch inszenierten, 8-minütigen "Born to be blue" (dennoch klasse strukturiert und mit abermals starkem Gesang), dem dampfenden, von satten, erdigen, bluesigen Gitarrenriffs ala Stones und Black Crowes bestimmten, Southern-inspirierten Rootsrocker "Full circle and then some" (glühendes Gitarrensolo), der wunderbaren, Slide-getränkte Americana-Nummer "The door", oder auch der traumhaft schönen, von Nick Govrik vorgetragenen, mit toller Harmonica und Mandoline, sowie sehr schönen Gitarren verfeinerten Americana-Nummer "Goddamn Hurricane" (klingt fast wie ein bislang unentdecktes Juwel aus dem Fundus der legendären The Band), und, und, und. Ohne jeden Zweifel, dies ist eine bemerkenswerte, immens beeidruckente und starke, neue Standortbestimmung von Trigger Hippy! Ein echtes Statement, gepaart mit jeder Menge Vorfreude auf das, was da, ob des großen, vielversprechenden Potentials, in Zukunft noch kommen möge. Hoffentlich hält die Formation diesmal lange durch. Ganz, ganz großartiges Album!

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Don't Wanna Bring You Down - 4:54
2. The Butcher's Daughter - 3:24
3. Strung out on the Pain - 3:34
4. Born to Be Blue - 8:25
5. The Door - 5:39
6. Full Circle and Then Some - 4:11
7. Dandelion - 4:10
8. Goddamn Hurricane - 4:05
9. Long Lost Friend - 4:33
10. One of Them - 2:48
11. Low Down Country Song - 4:59
12. Paving the Road - 3:36

Art-Nr.: 9907
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock
Status: Neuheit || Typ: CD || Preis: € 15,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
Don't wanna bring you down
The butcher's daughter
Strung out on the pain
Born to be blue
The door
Full circle and then some
Goddamn hurricane

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