It took 7 years for the songs inside my head to reach the fingers of my hands and vocal cords and for my mind to unearth the stories and images that would eventually merge with the melodies in my head… plus many mistakes and revisions and to do lists and the help of kind supporters that would eventually result in THIS physical manifestation of Oracles that is sitting on the shelves of record stores worldwide waiting to find their owners! ☺️
As any self-respecting hippie (and Rudolf Steiner) will tell you, 7-year cycles are significant, marking an inner shift in consciousness.
Give a listen to these 7 songs and evolve playfully under the tree.
We saw Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul for free at The Ridgefield Playhouse on May 1st of this year. It was a fantastic evening and they played many of the songs featured on the new ‘SOULFIRE LIVE!’ recording.
This spectacular live collection was recorded last year in North America and Europe during the legendary rock ‘n’ roller’s first world tour in nearly two decades. Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul’s SOULFIRE LIVE! is available now via Little Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records and UMe. The 3CD collection includes 24-tracks released digitally in April alongside an exclusive third disc highlighted by superstar guest performances recorded throughout the trek, including Bruce Springsteen, Richie Sambora, Peter Wolf, and Jerry Miller (of Moby Grape).
The video “Can I Get A Witness,” featuring Richie Sambora was recorded last year at the famed Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. It captures Little Steven and his 15-piece band, the Disciples of Soul’s, spirited and sweat-soaked shows which will be on full display on the Blu-Ray coming later this year.
Fans can pre-order ahead of the release later this year, SOULFIRE LIVE! as a unique 7LP vinyl box set and on Blu-Ray video exclusively at Little Steven’s just-launched new Webstore.
The vinyl box set will incorporate an exclusive bonus LP capturing Little Steven’s extraordinary surprise set at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club recorded November 2017 during his band’s sold out European tour. The intimate lunchtime gig saw Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul paying tribute to The Beatles with rocking renditions of “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Good Morning, Good Morning,” “Got To Get You Into My Life,” and “All You Need Is Love,” alongside iconic songs famously performed by the nascent Fab Four, including “Boys” (originally by The Shirelles), “Slow Down” (by Larry Williams) and “Soldier Of Love” (first recorded by Arthur Alexander).
“Playing in the same venue where The Beatles started their careers was a childhood dream of mine come true,” says Little Steven. “This was a band that set me on course for a life of music. For my rock ‘n’ roll religion, The Cavern is the first sacred site. It was an honor – no, make that an epiphany – to perform there.”
The SOULFIRE LIVE! Blu-ray video edition will include Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul’s complete Cavern Club concert alongside video performances of each song on the 3CD/vinyl set, exclusive interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage. In addition, the Blu-ray edition will feature a special documentary about the Cavern Club performance that sees Little Steven honored with a brick in the club’s hallowed Wall of Fame before leading his band through swift rehearsals of Beatles songs mere minutes ahead of their performance.
The exclusive SOULFIRE LIVE! Disc 3 showcases special guest appearances from some of Little Steven’s closest friends, collaborators, and favorite artists. Among the highlights are versions of Moby Grape’s “Can’t Be So Bad” performed with the legendary San Francisco band’s founding member, Jerry Miller; the Motown classic, “Can I Get A Witness,” performed with New Jersey’s own Richie Sambora; The J. Geils Band’s “Freeze Frame” with vocals from the one and only Peter Wolf; and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and Little Steven’s own “I Don’t Want To Go Home,” both joined by Bruce Springsteen.
As if that weren’t enough, Disc 3 also includes the Disciples of Soul’s electrifying takes on a number of Little Steven’s all-time favorite rock ‘n’ roll songs, including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Even The Losers,” AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero,” The Allman Brothers Band’s “It’s Not My Cross To Bear,” The Animals’ “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place,” and The Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight).”
SOULFIRE LIVE! was produced and arranged by Stevie Van Zandt; the album was mixed by Bob Clearmountain and mastered by Bob Ludwig.
Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul will rev up again this fall to celebrate SOULFIRE LIVE! with the final leg of their Teacher Appreciation Tour, set to get underway this October. The tour will once again benefit TeachRock,Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation’s national initiative to bring music curriculum into middle and high schools across the country. At each stop of the tour, teachers will get in free to the concert and TeachRock will host workshops before the show to educate teachers on how to implement music education into their classrooms. For complete details and ticket availability, please visit littlesteven.com. For more information about TeachRock and the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, please visit rockandrollforever.org
LITTLE STEVEN AND THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL: SOULFIRE TOUR 2018
OCTOBER 18 – Wilkes-Barre, PA – Kirby Center
20 – Rochester, NY – Kodak Theater
23 – Atlantic City, NJ – Hard Rock
24 – Munhall, PA –Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall
29 – Wabash, IN – Honeywell Center
31 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater
NOVEMBER 2 – Burnsville, MN – Ames Center
5- Chicago, IL – Copernicus Center
7 – Tulsa, OK – Club Brady
9 – Detroit, MI @ Detroit Music Hall
10 – Peoria, IL – Monarch
12 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
14 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
16 – Cleveland, OH – Hard Rock
17 – Morgantown, WV – Metropolitan Theatre
Years ago, I disappeared. There were many reasons, but mainly…
My Love for Music had suddenly left me.
I knew that simply stopping, was what I had to do.
If music was ever to return to my heart,
then and only then I would figure out what to do.
If not… so be it,
for I had already lived the dream of dreams.
Many years passed.
One day, I began sketching some musical ideas
with the creative freedom that I was the
only one who would ever hear them.
One song led to many.
My Love for Music had returned.
Then another beautiful thing happened.
I found Love.
My precious Kellie gave me a life
I never knew I had.
I lost her December of 2012.
I now deeply understand the meaning of:
“’It’s better to have Loved and Lost,
Than to have never Loved at All.”
May of 2015,
I began recording.
These songs are special to me.
I respectfully ask that you please listen to them,
And whatever they make you feel,
I thank you for listening.Sincerely,
1. “No Erasin’”
2. “We’re Still Here”
3. “Most Of All”
4. “No More Cryin’”
5. “In The Rain”
6. “Sun Shines Gray”
7. “You Belong To Me”
8. “Easy To Love”
9. “I Need You”
10. “We Fly”
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced today that “Weird Al” Yankovic will be honored with the 2,643rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, August 27th, at 11:30 a.m. PDT. The star will be dedicated in the category of Recording at 6914 Hollywood Boulevard across the street from the TCL Chinese Theatre.
“Weird Al has single-handedly created an industry of parody! His fans have been waiting for this star for a very long time. We are excited to honor this very funny man on our world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame,” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies.
President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Leron Gubler will unveil the star, along with help from Dr. Demento and Thomas Lennon.
The Walk of Fame star ceremony is free and open to the public. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce encourages people who are unable to attend and fans around the world to watch the event exclusively on www.walkoffame.com.
Yesterday I posted an animated video based on the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song “Teach Your Children”. The video was animated by Jeff Scher.
When I looked further into who Jeff Scher is I learned he had previously captured a historic tribute in, “The President Sang Amazing Grace”. This moving tribute is performed by Joan Baez and written by Zoe Mulford. It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.
“When Barack Obama sang ‘Amazing Grace’ at the service for the Charleston Church shooting victims, it was deeply moving,” Scher told The Atlantic. “Somehow Obama, with his humble singing voice, turned grief into grace. With humility, compassion, and a two-hundred-year-old hymn, he made us feel that the evil deeds of a sick individual could not shake the bonds of our common humanity.”
This video was produced by Rick Litvin and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. It is the first of a 10-part visual album in collaboration with NYU that coincides with each of the 10 songs on Baez’s new album, ‘Whistle Down The Wind’.
This video is a collaboration between Graham Nash and celebrated filmmaker and animator Jeff Scher. The imagery frames the youth-led liberal activism of 2018 against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and Peace demonstrations of the 1960’s, providing a powerful visual aid to Graham Nash’s relevant-as-ever appeal to teach not only our children but also our parents well.
“I wrote Teach Your Children because we have much to teach them. Conversely, I believe we as parents have much to learn from them as well. I think that Jeff Scher did a wonderful job of animating my lyrics and positioning the song in a contemporary setting.” – Graham Nash (2018)
As my readers know I love to write about The Doors. It’s been an interesting Doors 50 year anniversary celebration which has sprawled from 2017 into 2018 thus far.
The song “Love Street” was the B-side to The Doors hit single, “Hello I Love You”, released 50 years ago on July 13, 1968. It appears on their 1968 album Waiting for the Sun.
The song was originally a poem written by singer Jim Morrison about the street in the Laurel Canyon section of Los Angeles, California where he lived with his girlfriend Pamela Courson. Their address was 8021 Rothdell Trail. Morrison and Courson referred to Rothdell Trail as “Love Street” because they would sit on the balcony and watch countless hippies walk by.
You can take a visual tour of the Love Street house by looking at the Zillow Real Estate listing here. The present value of this property is 1.7 Million but it is off the market right now.
I have been to Laurel Canyon and seen the Love Street house. It was a pilgrimage I experienced on my birthday in 2012. I had lunch (A veggie sprouts and humus sandwich and an ice cream bar) at the Canyon Country Store. Here are the lyrics in Love Street that refer to that store.
To commemorate the street’s significance to popular culture and to Laurel Canyon’s deep music roots, Council Member David Ryu (CD4) sponsored an ordinance to officially change the name of a portion of Rothdell Trail to “LOVE STREET”!
I love the special connection I always feel with Laurel Canyon in the music of our heart.
I viewed the trailer for the documentaryRyuichi Sakamoto: Coda which looks at the life and work of the pianist and composer.
There is a scene where the words, “Music requires peace.” appear as Mr. Sakamoto bows and prays to honor the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Three simple words which resonate wisdom and purpose.
You can read further about Mr. Sakamoto and this New York Times Critic’s Pick film below.
Elvin Bishop’s music has been making people smile for over 50 years. A founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band, he has performed and recorded with music legends such as B.B.King, John Lee Hooker, and the Allman Brothers. From deep down gutbucket Blues played in smoky South Side Chicago taverns, to raucous roadhouse R&B, he’s instilled all of his music with passion, creativity and a healthy helping of wisdom, wit and good humor!
Elvin and his Big Fun Trio-mates (Willy Jordan on cajon and vocals, Bob Welsh on guitar and piano) serve up a fresh new helping of their good ‘n’ greasy blues and R&B, highlighted by the title track, a comic State of the Union address as only the blues and Southern Rock legend can deliver. The album includes four additional new originals, Big Fun Trio takes on Elvin’s Right Now Is The Hour, Jackie Wilson’s (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher, Ann Peebles’ I Can’t Stand The Rain and more. “Deceptively loose but always tight…the raspy chuckle in Bishop’s singing and the sharp sting of his guitar are forceful and fresh, enduring and fun.” –Fresh Air, NPR
The 70s were an incredible period that produced many foundation music recordings. Hamish Champ has captured this explosive decade in a new book, 100 Best Selling Albums of the 70s.
I own 75% of the recordings listed in my collection. It was an exciting era where music sold in tonnage. Artists achieved multi-platinum sales (Platinum = 1 million albums sold). Arena rock became the new concert experience (the reason rock impresario Bill Graham closed his Fillmore East and West venues).