Entries tagged with: Vince Gill

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by Doug Moore

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So this isn't entirely new info. Famed Star Trek star/all-around weird dude William Shatner discussed his upcoming prog rock collaboration with Yes guitarist/keyboardist Billy Sherwood in a Rolling Stone interview back in September. The album will apparently pair a bunch of Sherwood-penned prog tunes with Shatner's "original spoken word poetry"; one can only hope that such a pairing is as insane in practice as it sounds on paper. Shatner was in rare form for the interview; here are just some gems among many:

"The label came to me and said, "Would you like to do another album?" and I said, "Absolutely." Then they said, "Well, what would you like to do?" In that moment, I had a creative thought. I said, "I'll take that period of time, an hour before sunset, where a guy is at the beach and in despair about his life, and write music that goes through twilight and sunset into the sounds of the night. Gradually, with the beauty of the night and his thinking, he regains the joy of his life.""

"I think that prog rock is the science fiction of music."

"I'd love to be part of a discussion of where progressive rock ends and country music begins."

"Well, it's up to you to convince [listeners] that it's not a novelty record."

This isn't Shatner's first go-round with the music business; he recorded a 'metal album' a few years back, made a record (and covered Pulp) with Ben Folds in 2004, and the roots of his musical career go back to the '60s with his cult classic The Transformed Man.

But Shatner has revealed the details of the upcoming prog album -- entitled Ponder the Mystery, duh -- and judging by what we know so far, this might be the single most absurdly Shatnerian media event ever. It's out next week (10/8) via Cleopatra Records. Here's a bit of the press release:

"As word began to circulate about William Shatner's newest musical project, the prog rock concept album Ponder The Mystery, critics and fans quickly realized it was a match made, if not in Heaven, then in the most glorious reaches of the galaxy. Shatner is after all an enormously popular and celebrated icon of science fiction fantasy, and no musical genre is as invested in, devoted to or driven by fantasy and the imaginative as progressive rock. And though Mr. Shatner is no stranger to the musical world, what sets this effort apart from previous endeavors is the fact that he co-wrote the album, penning a set of intensely personal lyrics for producer/multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood (of the prog rock institution Yes) to compose around. And now, after months of puzzled rumors, probing questions and ponderous speculation, the album is finally ready to be embraced by the general public; it will be released on CD, vinyl and digital formats October 8, 2013.
Joining the two Bill's on this journey into the mysteries of human curiosity and consciousness is a group of virtuosos from numerous genres and fields: Mick Jones from Foreigner (not Mick Jones from The Clash), Simon House from Hawkwind (a version of which plays NYC on 10/13 without him), Steve Vai from...the G3 tour, acclaimed jazz guitarist Al Di Meola, Rick Wakeman (also of Yes), Belgian multi-instrumentalist Joel Vandroogenbroeck, better-known multi-instrumentalist Edgard Winter (playing sax here), Nik Turner (also of Hawkwind and who is playing Saint Vitus in November), country singer Vince Gill, Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream, Robby Krieger from The Doors, smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, and jazz keytar king George Duke.

My brain starts to ache when I try to imagine the specifics of what this album is going to sound like, but I do not exaggerate when I say that I can't wait to hear what this sounds like. Hopefully it will be the technicolor rainbow space vomit of cleanly-produced sound that this insane list of guests implies. There are some sound snippets over at Amazon.

Oh, and he'll be performing the album live. No East Coast dates have been announced but he'll be playing shows in California later this month and those are listed below. Shatner told The Beach Reporter if they go well, there may be more. "I'm feeling the audience out to see whether it's as good as I think it is and whether we should go on with it or not. In effect, Hermosa Beach is a testing ground. This is a new experience for everyone."

In all seriousness, kudos to Shatner for staying creatively active after all these years. Ponder the Mystery comes out on 10/8; keep an eye out for some streaming samples. Meanwhile, check out the tracklist and list of live dates, below.

Continue reading "William Shatner releasing prog rock album featuring members of Yes, Hawkwind & more, performing it live too (dates)"

Eric Clapton at BAM in 2010 (more by Kevin Mazur)
Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton is kicking off a major US tour in March, 2013 which will culminate in NYC with the two-night Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden from April 12 to 13. In addition to Clapton, the festival will feature a ton of other artists, including Allman Brother Band, Jeff Beck, BB King, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Gary Clark Jr., Blake Mills, Los Lobos, Frank Ocean sideman John Mayer, and many others.

The Terrace level at MSG will also host the "Guitar Center Road to Crossroads Exhibition," which will feature a number of historic guitars on display, memorabilia, archival footage, and interactive exhibits where fans can play products by Fender, Gibson, Ernie Ball, and Martin. The exhibition will open at 6:30 PM on 4/12 and 6 PM on 4/13, and is free to ticket holders.

Tickets for the festival go on sale Friday, November 30 at noon with a Chase (who is presenting the show) presale beginning Monday, November 26 at noon.

A list of all Clapton dates, the full Crossroads Guitar Festival lineup, and a video, are below.

Continue reading "Eric Clapton announces 2013 US tour, including Crossroads Guitar Festival at MSG w/ many guests (dates)"

Pandora
Pandora

This letter, signed by a ton of artists and pictured above, is set to appear in an ad in Billboard:

We are big fans of Pandora. That's why we helped give the company a discount on rates for the past decade.

Pandora is now enjoying phenomenal success as a Wall Street company. Skyrocketing growth in revenues and users. We celebrate that. At the same time, the music community is just now beginning to gain its footing in the new digital world.

Pandora's principal asset is the music.

Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon? That's not fair, and that's not how partners work together.
Congress has many pressing issues to consider, but this is not one of them. Let's work this out as partners and continue to bring fans the great musical experience they rightly expect.

Pink Floyd, Down, Primus, Dead Kennedys (with our without Jello?), Nas, Alabama, Sheryl Crow and many more big major label names signed this (or someone signed it on their behalf). Check out the full list below, and head to fairpayforartists.com for more information on their point of view..

The issue is that Pandora is supporting the Internet Radio Fairness Act which they say will "help end the long-standing discrimination against internet radio". Artists are mad because that possibly means less money for them, but Pandora and other Internet radio providers argue they can't stay in business the way things are now.

Continue reading "A bunch of artists wrote an open letter to Pandora who support the Internet Radio Fairness Act"

Blind Boys of Alabama

The Blind Boys of Alabama [released] a traditional country-gospel album for the first time in their 70-year career on May 3rd, 2011. One of country music's most acclaimed and compelling artists, Jamey Johnson, co-produced the album and performs on it along with Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Lee Ann Womack, and The Oak Ridge Boys.
The Oak Ridge Boys join The Blind Boys of Alabama for an intimate show at City Winery in NYC TONIGHT (5/10). It's not cheap, but tickets are amazingly still on sale. All Blind Boys dates, and a video of them performing with Jamey Johnson & the Oak Ridge Boys on "Fox & Friends" this morning, below...

Continue reading "Blind Boys of Alabama released a guest-filled country-gospel album, The Oak Ridge Boys play with them in NYC tonight"