St. Vincent & Seattle Sound Suite

Seattle is an engaging music technology city to visit. (Microsoft, Jimi Hendrix’s birthplace, Pearl Jam, etc.)  I especially love staying in the first class hotels along the water’s edge.

Take a look at this tweet from St. Vincent and W Hotels about an innovative lodging experience.

This is a smart idea for music artists who awaken with a creative idea and wish to capture it after a good night’s rest. Imagine walking out of your room, padding down the hall to record the song that echoes inside of you. Note the scenic view the artist can get lost in right outside their window. How’s that for ambiance and inspiration?

I wonder what the cost of a Sound Suite session might be? Thinking I need to take some voice lessons first 🙂

W Hotels gets added to my list of Seattle comforts.

Gregg Allman – “My Only True Friend”

The music of our heart is still heavy reflecting on Gregg Allman’s passing. I am forever thankful for the blues music he has introduced me to with The Allman Brothers Band and on his poignant solo albums.

I was recently acknowledged by Gregg’s official store with a thank you for pre-purchasing his final album Southern Blood.  

Thank you for placing an early order for Gregg Allman’s SOUTHERN BLOOD vinyl (out 9/8). We know many of you have been waiting awhile for the finished album, and you placed an order without a lot of information. As our way of showing our appreciation, we’re letting you know: 

You will receive the limited edition SOUTHERN BLOOD LP at no extra charge. None of these items will be part of the future regular edition.

Details:
    (a) Heavyweight, hardwood colored vinyl
    (b) Portrait lithograph (12” x 12”)
    (c) Two bonus live tracks (included with a download card).
    (d) Full album download card

That left me reassured as I have come to appreciate how accommodating the Allman community and Music Today have been over the years.

In anticipation of next month’s order, I am sharing this recent video of “My Only True Friend” which reveals the warm spirit found inside Gregg’s recording session.

 

Soundbreaking: Stories From The Cutting Edge of Recorded Music

I find it interesting when we are allowed a further look inside the recording process. I can’t wait to see what is in store with these wide ranging eight PBS episodes.

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Sir George Martin had a last project: a documentary series on the impact of recorded music. Unfortunately, the legendary Beatles producer died before the final work was completed, but his spirit imbues every frame of Soundbreaking: Stories From The Cutting Edge of Recorded Music, an 8-part series that airs on PBS beginning  Nov. 14.

Each hour-long episode tackles a different topic, including recording vocals, the electrification of instruments, the artistry of sampling and the rise of the music video.

360 (AWB)- Hamish Stuart, Molly Duncan and Steve Ferrone

360 is a complete return to the soul/funk roots of Hamish Stuart, Molly Duncan and Steve Ferrone: iconic members of The Average White Band.

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The new record is a phenomenal homage to the band members’ origins. Between them, they have created and played on numerous stand-out projects, and have amassed a following as some of the greatest soul and funk musicians of all time.

Recorded live in the studio, the chemistry between the players is undeniable when listening to the tracks. If you’re an AWB fan, or a fan of the genre, this is not to be missed.

Due to be released in limited edition copies signed by the band, on 180g 12″ Vinyl and CD in September, the album is available from 3Ms Music to pre-order now. I ordered my copy 😉

The Bottom Line Archive, Harry Chapin Live

One of my regrets even with all the live music shows  I have attended in the tri-state area (425 concerts in 46 years) was never getting to a live show at the Bottom Line. This famous club was located at 15 West 4th Street in Greenwich Village. It was owned by Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky, the Bottom Line opened February 12, 1974 and enjoyed a 30-year run.

The Bottom Line would broadcast live shows in conjunction with top NYC progressive rock radio station, WNEW-FM 102.7. A historic milestone in the club’s history was The Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Bands 10 night “Born To Run” engagement in August, 1975. I recall listening to the raw excitement of those sold out shows on the radio that evening.

Thankfully to Allan Peppers credit and ingenuity I can cancel that regret because we have the Bottom Line Archive.  The treasure trove of live recordings that Alan Pepper is housing is mountainous, over 1,000 live recordings.

Allan Pepper is working with Greg Bendian, formerly of The Mahavishnu Project a jazz-rock fusion cover band that we saw perform at Toad’s Place, Lily Pad room in 2011.

I am very interested in the Harry Chapin recording, HARRY CHAPIN: LIVE AT THE BOTTOM LINE (JANUARY 8-10, 1981) 35th Anniversary Expanded Re-master. The release includes the original set, as released in 1998, PLUS an extra offer a previously unreleased 88-minute show.

I preordered this recording on Amazon which is due to drop on June 30th.

We spent several magic moments in concert and discussion with Harry Chapin in the day. Looking forward to hearing  Harry live in concert once again.

Marking his 2000thperformance (January 8-10, 1981) this release provides a unique snapshot of an artist at the peak of his career – intimate and intense.

I think I will be buying more Bottom Line Archive recordings in the future.

Santana IV Reunion Update

It’s been an exciting month plus for the original members of Santana and longtime Santana fans.

Texas – March 19

The Santana IV Reunion “Live” commences in stages. Gregg Rolie joins Santana in Corpus Christie, Texas on March 19th. It serves as a dress rehearsal for the Santana Mexico concerts to follow.

Gregg and Carlos
Photo Copyright Libby Fabro

Mexico – March 

Santana reunion efforts began to further gel when Gregg goes on to perform with Carlos and the Band in Monterrey, MX, Cumbre Tajin Festival and at two special co-headline events with Journey in Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Videos of Gregg Rolie sitting in with Santana performing “Black Magic Woman” begin to surface on YouTube.

Things really get exciting when the original Santana nucleus expands when Journey and Santana co-headline. We see Neal Schon playing guitar with Carlos Santana set against the rhythmic backdrop of the Santana band.

Neal Schon has been the motivator pushing for the Santana reunion. I am thankful that he has been instrumental in driving Santana IV to that goal.

Neal, Gregg and Carlos Santana do the dynamic tracks from Santana III, “Batuka/No One To Depend On”, “Everybody’s Everything”. How cool is that?

Copyright Chad Tasky

The stage is set for completing the Santana IV recording in Las Vegas the next month. Can you say supercharged? I knew that you could 😉

The Santana Three
Photo Copyright Libby Fabro

Las Vegas – April 2015

The Santana IV Reunion scene shifts to Las Vegas, Nevada. The composition and recording of the final three tracks for the Santana IV recording enters high gear. The Santana IV recording team and studio musicians assemble at Odds On Records and Studios (Audio Mix House) in Henderson, Nevada. Michael Shrieve and Michael Carabello join Neal, Gregg and Carlos to put down the last tracks for Santana IV. They are joined by Benny Rietveld on bass and Karl Perazzo on percussion. Jim Reitzel, Head Engineer at Tarpan Studios mans the boards, coordinating the sounds Santana IV seeks to make. Jim has worked actively with Santana over the years. He becomes the glue to bond Santana IV together. I wonder if he will also be chiefly responsible for the mixing that follows next?

Photo courtesy of Benny Rietveld via Facebook
Copyright Chad Tasky

Neal Schon has been vocal about Santana IV touring live at some point in the future. Can wait to see Santana IV live!

I wonder what record label Santana IV will be released and distributed by. Who has the rights? SONY, Arista, or Starfish?

My hat is off to Santana IV!

Copyright Chad Tasky

Good things come to those who wait!

Special Mention

We are fortunate to have the camera team of Libby Fabro and Chad Tasky documenting the events. I think Libby Fabro is a photographer for Team Santana. Chad Tasky is a San Francisco based photographer and filmmaker. Chad was a drum tech for Santana for a time. Props to both photographers for being our inside image sources for Santana IV. Your respective photos are superb.

Sound Man by Glyn Johns

I have many music books and never enough time to read them all. I am thankful for my extensive music library.

I have been reading and reflecting on the best music books of 2014. One book title that really stands out is Sound Man by Glyn Johns.

Glyn Johns has been behind the soundboard recording dozens of monumental recordings in the annals of rock music.  His work evidences the midas touch of Sir George Martin, Eddie Kramer, Rick Rubin and T-Bone Burnett.

If I had to name my favorite Glyn John’s recording it would be Who’s Next. Every time I hear the songs from this album I understand unequivocally why rock and roll resonates in my soul.

“Sound Man opens with a declaration: A record producer has to have an opinion and the ego to express it more convincingly than anyone else. So Glyn Johns has stood his ground with a few big headed rock stars? I must be the exception. I’ve only had transcendental moments in the studio with Glyn. Returning to the control room after a studio take I often felt like running: the joy of hearing what Glyn had created out of the glue-and-string that was The Who was like a drug. He is an artist himself of supreme talent and experience.” —Pete Townshend

Benmont Tench – You Should Be So Lucky

Benmont Tench is the keyboardist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. His first solo release You Should Be So Lucky (a project 37 years in the making) drops tomorrow, September 18th on the historic jazz Blue Note record label.

Produced by legendary producer Glyn Johns, the album was recorded to tape at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles and features Tench handling lead vocals, piano and organs, joined by a team of collaborators including a core band of Don WasEthan JohnsBlake Mills and Jeremy Stacey and contributions by Ryan AdamsGillian Welch and David RawlingsJoel JeromeTom Petty and Ringo Starr.

The first single from that record, “Blonde Girl, Blue Dress,” features Gill and Dave on vocals, Tom Petty on bass, and Ringo Starr on tambourine.

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Electric Lady Studios – Greenwich Village

Have you ever been (have you ever been) to Electric Ladyland?
The magic carpet waits for you so don’t you be late

The answer to that question is finally a resounding Yes!

My wife and I were walking in Greenwich Village yesterday when we stumbled upon this music landmark. We were on West 8th Street conducting a walking tour coming from MacDougal Street after cutting across Washington Square Park.

We happened upon electric lady studios at 52 West 8th Street, the futuristic recording studio that was built for Jimi Hendrix. I noticed the lettering and the brown curtains as I excitedly pointed to my wife my discovery. We watched as an electric lady studios employee lifted up the locked grate and unlocked the front door. Try as I might I couldn’t get a view over the shoulder of the employee as he quickly closed and locked the door behind him.

This encouraged me to visualize as much information as I could regarding electric lady studios. I definitely felt the spirit of Jimi Hendrix yesterday 🙂

©2013 ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS

I especially love Patti Smith’s memories of Jimi Hendrix and electric lady studios where she has recorded four of her studio albums, Horses, Gone Again, Twelve, and Banga.

©2013 ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS

“I put on my straw hat and walked downtown, but when I got there, I couldn’t bring myself to go in,” recalls Patti Smith in her

Electric Ladyland
Electric Ladyland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

award-winning memoir, Just Kids. “By chance, Jimi Hendrix came up the stairs and found me sitting there like some hick wallflower and grinned.

“He spent a little time with me on the stairs and told me his vision of what he wanted to do with the studio.  He dreamed of amassing musicians from all over the world in Woodstock and they would sit in a field in a circle and play and play.  It didn’t matter what key or tempo or what melody, they would keep on playing through their discordance until they found a common language.  Eventually they would record this abstract universal language of music in his new studio.

‘The language of peace. You dig?’ I did.”

©2013 ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS
©2013 ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS