Features

James Leblanc and The Winchesters Still Needing Your Pledge for The Devil Between My Ears

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Submitted by Don Graham

James Leblanc and The Winchesters are trying hard to reach their goal on Pledge Music but still need your help. James and The Winchesters are based in the Muscle Shoals area and are hard at work at The Nutthouse Recording Studio recording their album ‘The Devil Between My Ears’. Bandleader James Leblanc, “Thanks for this opportunity to keep getting the word out. The first thing I want y’all to know is I ’m grateful to be able to make records. We have a blast doing it and it’s so much fun. I am pumped for this album, it’s going to a little different from my solo CDs, a little more of a band feel and is gonna be a little more aggressive. We will be exploring some southern rock aspects of ourselves, a little more edge to it musically. Plus my lady, the super talented is gonna be steppin’ out and singin’ some leads, so I’m pumped. And I am happy to tell you that the new album is coming along. We still need your help with pre-orders through our PledgeMusic campaign.”

The band concept, although still the basic James Leblanc sound that is so gripping, has the added colors of a band feel with the super talented Angela Hacker providing great vocals as a counterpoint to James, signature honest, pure and sincere take on the tunes. The band is as tight as anything you’ll hear with fellow Shreveport native Jimmy Nutt laying the foundation with rock solid bass lines, Evan Lane on drums and Brad Kuhn on keys.

Carlos Santana Up Close and Personal

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Submitted by Iain Patience

Carlos Santana is, without doubt, one of the finest guitarists modern music has to offer. From his explosive appearance on the Woodstock stage fifty years ago, in 1969, through his work with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and the legendary blues duo of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, Santana has remained a unique, instantly recognizable figure in both the blues and world music camps.

Now, with a new band behind him and an ambition and optimism that he believes is leading him back to his ‘blues roots,’ he is about to hit the road with a promise of Santana at his very best, a bluesman with a purpose and a genuine desire to take the music world by the scruff of its neck and deliver a promise that he believes will push him straight back into the spotlight where many would agree he clearly belongs.

When Did Casey Kasem Finally Sign Off of the American Top 40?

Courtesy of Rob Durkee

On August 6, 1988, thirty years ago Monday, August 6, 1988, thousands of "American Top 40" fans tuned in to hear Casey Kasem do what was believed to be his very last AT40 show. Shadoe Stevens would replace him at the mike the following week. Fans particularly wanted to hear how Casey would end the show, fully expecting him to say goodbye.

Only he didn't. After promoting his TV show, Casey said, "Til then, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."

No farewell from Casey...but that was because it really WASN'T "farewell" for him. He would be back. The ABC network would actually PAY Casey to NOT count 'em down for the rest of 1988 and the first two weekends of 1989. But that's when Casey's contract with ABC expired. On the weekend of January 21, 1989, Casey sounded like he'd never been away when he debuted with "Casey's Top 40" on the Westwood One radio network. He was just starting a then-unheard-of radio contract for a disc jockey....five years, $15 million.

Norbert Putnam Walking In Memphis

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Submitted by Don Graham

Musician, Producer, Arranger, Publisher, Studio Owner, best-selling Author; Norbert Putnam has had a lot of awards and accolades thrust upon him in his long illustrious career and is about to have another to add to his collection. On August 13th, 2018, three days after his birthday and three days prior to the anniversary of the death of one of Norbert’s favorite artists to have played on sessions with his true, close friend, Elvis Presley, he will be honored in Memphis Tennessee with a Brass Note on Beale Street. Known as the Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame it was started to offer a tangible embodiment of the many talented people who had put Memphis music and Beale Street on the world map and includes musicians, composers, disc jockeys, promoters and music supporters with celebrating them on the concrete sidewalks along Beale Street.

David Byrne: American Utopia Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Toronto ON

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Submitted By Lenny Stoute

Just about the time, David Byrne was stagger dancing around a grey stage to "Blind", bulldozers were leveling the Beijing studio of dissident artist Ai Wei Wei, as arts programs across North America were getting the shiv in the ribs and Riot Pussy are again doing time. Once again, subversive art is under attack everywhere. So layered with the joyous and uplifting, especially as in bodies out of seats. David was a laying out a to-do list for the resistance. Ah, but we were there for the music and that never flagged nor disappointed. The set covered material from Talking Heads, Byrne solo albums from all periods, some collabs, a Love The Giant and some from the newbie, most given redos to fit a fun and funky vibe.

Keeping it grounded, between "Dog’s Mind" and "Everybody’s Coming to My House," Byrne encouraged everyone to vote “in every election they possibly can”. He acknowledged that things up here were quite different from in the US, which was loudly applauded but cautioned us not to get smug, quipping "Two words. Ford Brothers." When doing "Burning Down The House," he delivered lines like "we're in for nasty weather," with a touch of vehemence.

Elvis Presley The Boy Who Would Be King

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January 6, 1935 - August 16, 1977
Submitted by Don Graham

On August 16, 1977, 41 years ago, we lost one of the most significant artists on human beings the world has ever known.  Elvis Presley. Although the anniversary of his death is not as universally recognized as years past his impact on the world has not diminished. In 2010 we wrote the story “The Boy Who Would Be King” and thought it appropriate to rerun it for your reading enjoyment. Elvis didn’t like being called the King and at one show where they held up a sign saying Elvis Is King. He asked them to take it down saying there is only one King and pointed heavenward. Hope you enjoy the read.

On January 8th, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, was born to Gladys and Vernon Presley, a baby boy. He would be named Elvis Aaron Presley, and one day would be known simply as…..The King.

BTW Honyock, Dead Soft, Hosannas, June West, Carmen Toth, Tragedy Ann

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Listening to Honyock feels like walking through a post-war home that hasn’t been redecorated since 1975. Here, smoke-stained curtains obscure a hazy sun and a floral couch faces a stern stone fireplace. And, here, a dusty electric organ rests against a wood-paneled wall where, in any other house, a flat screen might sit. But while sitting at the Formica table beside a rattling, honey-colored Frigidaire, this home feels familiar, comfortable. This transportive power of Honyock’s music, though, is no serendipitous accident. Indeed, their first full-length El Castillo, produced by David Vandervelde (Father John Misty, Jay Bennett), seems like the outcome of some cosmic strategy—of fate, or something similar.

Like the best bands that take cues from the past—Wilco and Dr. Dog, Whitney and Kevin Morby, The Sacramento four piece combines the aesthetic of this era with songwriting that’s as distinctive as it is memorable. “Patron” features a dusty, retro aesthetic—a sun-faded roadside hotel, a cactus’s long shadow. It’s hard not to hear Elvis Costello or Roy Orbison in this opening track.

“It kind of came out of this persistent pattern in my life of being intimate with drug abuse and drug abusers,” Spencer says. “Those people can be the sweetest friends you’ve ever met, but they disappear a lot too. You have this duel emotion of ‘I would do anything to help you’ while admonishing them for their own lack of will.”

David Vaters Asks Us to ‘Forgive’

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

In these current times, with all the political tensions, climate issues, racism and unrest, the message from this Canadian-born artist couldn’t be more timely.

Forgive.

David Vaters has released a moving video with the song ‘Forgive’. The video is a heart-rendering addition to a well-written, moving song, taken from the album entitled “Volume 2 – A Voice in the Wilderness, and to date has over 10 million streams and views on digital music platforms.

Forgive. A very small word but such a huge undertaking for many of us to do.  But yet, many of us would hope for people to forgive us for things we might have done, maybe not intentionally and sometimes done by just being careless about others.

With Vaters’ ‘pay it forward’ take in the video, a simple gesture of a crumpled piece of paper handed to strangers really hits home to the viewer. Take that and combine it with a great song and you have a hit with a great message.

To date ‘Forgive’ has had over 1.2 million streams on Soundcloud and over 130,000 views on YouTube prior to its official release. And we are pretty sure those numbers have risen since this story was published.

A fan of David Vaters recently said,“this timely song is needed in a world that seems to be getting more intolerant and ever more hostile.”

Elvis Costello & The Imposters’ New Album Released October 12

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Elvis Costello and The Imposters – Steve Nieve (keyboards), Davey Faragher (bass), Pete Thomas (drums) – have made a sensational new album that ranks alongside the best work this singularly great artist has ever produced.

Recorded in Hollywood, New York City and Vancouver, British Columbia, Look Now is beautiful in its simplicity, reflective in its lyrical vision, surrounded by melodies and orchestrations that are nothing short of heavenly. It’s the first album Costello has made with The Imposters since the 2008 release of Momofuku and his first new album since the acclaimed 2013 Roots collaboration, Wise Up Ghost.

Anyone anywhere in the world who has seen Elvis Costello and The Imposters live can testify to their unmitigated swagger. Costello’s suspicion that it was time to return to the studio was confirmed while on the Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers tour of the USA, last summer and he realized the power and sheer musicality of The Imposters had never really been fully captured on one record.

I knew if we could make an album with the scope of Imperial Bedroom and some of the beauty and emotion of Painted From Memory, we would really have something,” said Costello.

Denis Element I’m Where a Memory (Can Die For a Night)

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Submitted by Don Graham

Cover Photo Credit Ash Photography Services

The recipe for this country music feel-good story includes; Nashville legend, Vern Gosdin aka The Voice, Beverly Gosdin, Vern’s widow, Dana Hudson, singer/songwriter and Denis Element, Canadian country singer/songwriter.

Together this combination of people all came together to create this great story. “This is what I’ve wanted to do all my life. I grew up with my Dad listening to George Jones, Hank Sr. and Merle. And of course, Vern Gosdin. It was three years ago that my wife, Pauline, began posting my videos on social media. Not long after I began to build a fan base that loved traditional country music and the loved my vocals. I posted a song by Vern Gosdin and shortly after Beverly Gosdin (Vern's widow), who is in Nashville, started messaging me." In the words of Beverly Gosdin,"I had connected with Canadian singer/songwriter Denis Element out of Hamilton, Ontario. I had seen Denis doing a version of Vern's song, I'm Where a Memory (Can Die for a Night). I invited Denis to record his version in Nashville, Tennessee. Dana Hudson sang so much that he invited him to also record "Check My Memory" (a song written years before by Hudson). Denis cut it with some of Nashville's greats on the session, including Scotty Sanders, Buddy Hyatt from Toto and the man himself, Brent Mason. This will be the follow-up single after "I'm Where a Memory (Can Die for a Night). I'm excited to see where this goes from here."

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