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Bluhm, Tim - sorta surviving [2019]
Außergewöhlich starkes, hinreißend schönes, mit durchweg großartigen Songs bestücktes Retro Countryalbum von Tim Bluhm. Bluhm ist Mitbegründer, Kopf und Frontmann der kultigen, in San Fancisco ansässigen, sowohl in der Rootsrock-, als auch in der Jamrock-Szene hoch geschätzten The Mother Hips, die mit ihrer fluffigen Bay Area Rock-Brise eher näher dem Terrain von Grateful Dead oder Buffalo Springfield angesiedelt sind, als dem der Countrymusic. Doch Bluhm ist auch ein beinharter Country-Fan. Als The Mother Hips vor rund 25 Jahren ihr Debutalbum für Rick Rubin's "American"-Label einspielten, hatte dieses Label gerade Johnny Cash's erstes, von Rick Rubin produziertes, in den berühmten Cash Cabin Studios von Hendersonville/TN aufgenommenes "Amerivcan Recordings"-Album herausgebracht. Zu dieser Zeit entdeckte Bluhm auch Merle Haggard's Musik für sich und befand sich darüber hinaus in regem, fachmännischem Austausch mit Johnny Cash, für den The Mother Hips schließlich als Opener im Fillmore von San Francisco auftraten. Jetzt, nach all den Jahren, hat sich Bluhm seinen großen Traum erfüllt und dieses bärenstarke Countryalbum eingespielt, und das ebenfalls in den legendären Cash Cabin Studios von Hendersonville, übrigens auch mit zwei alten Johnny Cash-Sidemen an Bord, nämlich Dave Roe am Bass und Gene Chrisman an den Drums. Weitere hochkarätige Mitstreiter sind Jesse Aycock (Hard Working Americans) an der Gitarre, Jason Crosby (Dave Matthews, Eric Clapton) an den Keyboards und der Fiddle, Doug Jernigan an der Pedal Steel und Elizabeth Cook wit prächtigem Background Gesang. Ja, Instrumente wie Piano (wundervolles Saloon- und Honky Tonk-Piano), herrliche Pedal Steel Guitar und feine elektrisch und akustische Gitarren, im Einklang mit Bluhm's für diese Musik wie geschaffene, hervorragende Stimme, und vollendeten Songharmonien, bestimmen das Geschehen. Obwohl in Tennessee eingespielt, so fließt durch diese Countrysongs doch eine wunderbare, californische Leichtigkeit. Alles klingt total entspannt, locker und kommt in einem hinreißenden Retro Hippie-Flair. Enthält neben Bluhm's fantastischen Eigenkompositionen auch großartige Coverversionen von Jonny Cash's "I still miss someone" und Merle Haggard's "Kern river". Purer Retro-Country, vollkommen authentisch und ohne Schnörkel, aus einer Zeit, die längst vergessen schien. Toll! Produziert hat übrigens Widespread Panic's Dave Schools - und das vom Allerfeinsten. Ein absolutes, reines Genre Pracht-Werk!

Aus der Original-Produktbeschreibung:

For a moment, you could almost forget what year it was inside the Cash Cabin, the small sanctuary-turned-recording-studio Johnny Cash built roughly 40 years ago in Hendersonville, TN. The Man In Black's frequent collaborators Dave Roe and Gene Chrisman were back at the bass and drums respectively, and tape was rolling as they counted in the Cash classic "I Still Miss Someone." Tim Bluhm had to pinch himself. "Recording in that space with those guys was like a dream come true for me," says Bluhm. "The depth of knowledge they walk around with in their heads is amazing, and you know you can trust the musical choices they're making because they have the experience to back it up. When they say, 'This is what Merle would have done,' it's because they know firsthand." While Bluhm may be best known for the breezy brand of West Coast roots and soul he helped pioneer with his band, The Mother Hips, his brilliant new solo album, Sorta Surviving, revels in his longtime love for classic country music. Recorded and mixed at the Cash Cabin under the guidance of Widespread Panic's Dave Schools, the collection is earnestly authentic and utterly timeless, and it finds Bluhm backed by elder statesmen like Roe and Chrisman along with younger virtuosos like keyboardist Jason Crosby (Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews) and Jesse Aycock (Hard Working Americans, Elizabeth Cook). "The band brought a certain maturity and experience," explains Schools. "Tim's songwriting is so strong that it naturally suggests how to complement itself, but those guys really know how to play and still leave room for a great singer." Indeed, the arrangements on the album are refined and elegant, yet still stripped-down and raw, enabling Bluhm's warm, easygoing vocals to sit front-and-center as he weaves vivid tales of ordinary men and women facing down hard days and even harder nights. Mixing new originals and reimagined covers, the record pulls from a half-century of American music to craft a thoroughly modern love letter to a bygone era, one that showcases both Bluhm's deft musical hand and his heartfelt reverence for the genre. "I've been a fan of classic country ever since I heard Merle Haggard sing," reflects Bluhm. "I just admired his voice and storytelling so much, but I never made an album like this before because I figured it would take me at least 20 or 30 years to get good enough." Bluhm discovered Haggard around the same time he co-founded the now-iconic Mother Hips, a band the San Francisco Chronicle has hailed as "one of the Bay Area's most beloved live outfits." The group began it's journey at Chico State, where performing at frat parties quickly gave way to club shows, regional touring, and national buzz, and before Bluhm and his bandmates had even graduated, they were already signed to Rick Rubin's American Recordings on the strength of their debut album, 'Back To The Grotto.' "When we signed with American, the label had just put out Johnny Cash's first Rick Rubin-produced album, which was actually recorded at the Cash Cabin," says Bluhm. "I got to meet and hang with Johnny a couple times back then, and after that, we opened for him at The Fillmore in San Francisco. I was so impressed with his presence. He definitely lived up to his legend in real life, and he made a big impression on me." Over the ensuing two-and-a-half decades, the Hips would release nine more studio albums as they cemented their status as festival and critical favorites, sharing bills with everyone from Wilco and Widespread Panic to Lucinda Williams and The Black Crowes along the way. Rolling Stone called them "divinely inspired," while Pitchfork praised their "rootsy mix of 70s rock and power pop," and The New Yorker lauded their ability to "sing it sweet and play it dirty." Ever-curious and wildly prolific, Bluhm simultaneously released a slew of his own solo and collaborative projects on the side. He toured for years as music director with Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, teamed up with The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann among others, and opened up Mission Bells Studio with fellow California favorite Jackie Greene and engineer Dave Simon-Baker. There, Bluhm produced albums for everyone from the Hips and Greene to Hot Buttered Rum and Little Wings in addition to hosting Phil Lesh, Josh Ritter, Rogue Wave, Los Lobos, Jonathan Richman, and more. As if that wasn't enough to keep him busy, in 2007, Bluhm and the Hips launched the Hipnic, an intimate and immaculately-curated music festival that's still held annually amongst the towering redwoods of Big Sur. Sorta Surviving marks Bluhm's first collection recorded outside of California, but one listen and it's clear that he's equally at home in the pines of Tennessee. There's a comfort to the performances, a subtle familiarity that radiates out like a warm invitation. "Most of the songs on this album are second or third takes," says Schools. "That comes from experience and teamwork, but also from working in a great environment. It's a palpable thing you feel when you're working in the room where Johnny Cash wrote his autobiography and recorded some of the best work of his later years. We were definitely all a little nervous meeting for the first time, but we got comfortable real quick there." The songs are character-driven, valuing the visceral over the cerebral, and Bluhm inhabits his narrators with a voice as tough and as pliable as worn-in leather. "It just felt natural for me to sing this way," he explains. "It was a chance to put away the books and focus more on the everyday rather than the existential, a chance to pull out the guitar and really tell some stories." Some of those stories come secondhand: the bluesy "Del Rio Dan" was first popularized by The Everly Brothers in the 1970's, while the waltzing "Kern River" is a Merle Haggard favorite, and Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone" gets a melancholy makeover with a tip of the cap to Neil Young's timeless take on "Oh Lonesome Me." That the covers fit so seamlessly alongside Bluhm's original material stands as a testament both to his gifts as a compelling storyteller and his playful way with words. The shuffling "Jesus Save A Singer" tackles struggle and redemption with a wry smile, while the stream-of-consciousness title track sardonically examines our instinct to perpetually press on, and the honky-tonking "Where I Parked My Mind" finds dark wit even in the depths of addiction. "There's more humor in these songs than anything else I've written before," says Bluhm, "but it's all very tongue in cheek. That's a country music tradition." While tradition guided Bluhm throughout the project, he wasn't beholden to it, frequently taking risks and pushing boundaries with his performances and arrangements. In the end, his goal wasn't just to make a country-tinged record, but rather to craft narratives that could truly transport his listeners, that could breathe new life into stories forgotten and stories imagined, tales of dustbowl farmers and oil men and fugitive outlaws and traveling singers. "As a kid growing up in LA, I never even heard of country music," reflects Bluhm, "but I remember flipping around the radio dial and coming across 'The Gambler.' It was a song that just completely transcended genre. It was no more 'country' than Mark Twain was 'country.' It was a simple, timeless story set to music, and that's what I've ultimately aspired to make myself."

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Jesus Save A Singer - 3:08
2. No Way To Steer - 3:11
3. Jimmy West - 3:44
4. Where I Parked My Mind - 3:28
5. Raining Gravel - 3:46
6. Sorta Surviving - 3:15
7. Del Rio Dan - 4:24
8. I Still Miss Someone - 3:15
9. Squeaky Wheel - 3:55
10. Kern River - 3:05

Art-Nr.: 9792
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
Jesus save a singer
No way to steer
Jimmy West
Where I parked my mind
Sorta surviving
Squeaky wheel
Kern river

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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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Cooder, Ry - pull up some dust and sit down [2011]
Klasse neues Album von dem großen Ry Cooder über dessen kümstlerisches Spektrum in einer amerikanischen Biographie folgendes zu lesen ist: "Whether serving as a session musician, solo artist, or soundtrack composer, Ry Cooder's chameleon-like fretted instrument virtuosity, songwriting, and choices of material encompass an incredibly eclectic range of North American musical styles, including rock & roll, blues, reggae, Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, Dixieland jazz, country, folk, R&B, gospel, and vaudeville." Dem ist nichts hinzuzufügen. Auch"Pull up some dust and sit down" ist ein typisches Ry cooder-Album mit allen Facetten dessen großartiger Musik. Mit dabei: Sohnemann Joachim Cooder am Schlagzeug und seine alten Weggefährten Flaco Jimenez (accordion) und Jim Keltner (drums on 1 track). Kommt in einem feinen Digipack mit 20-seitigem Booklet, inkl. aller Texte.

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. No Banker Left Behind 3:34
2. El Corrido de Jesse James 4:14
3. Quick Sand 3:13
4. Dirty Chateau 5:27
5. Humpty Dumpty World 4:16
6. Christmas Time This Year 2:46
7. Baby Joined the Army 6:34
8. Lord Tell Me Why 3:00
9. I Want My Crown 2:36
10. John Lee Hooker for President 6:06
11. Dreamer 5:04
12. Simple Tools 5:04
13. If There's a God 3:05
14. No Hard Feelings 5:52

Art-Nr.: 7527
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 15,90

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