I add this book to my list of books to own. I admire and respect T Bone Burnett. He and Rick Rubin have the “midas touch” when it comes to the recording process. Their unique ear for music is our listening benefit.
This first critical appreciation of T Bone Burnett reveals how the proponent of Americana music and producer of artists ranging from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to B. B. King and Elvis Costello has profoundly influenced American music and culture.
Nonesuch Records is a progressive record label. It has the heart to take risks with artists for the sake of music creativity. T Bone Burnett has the midas touch when it comes to music production and defining artists.
T Bone Burnett states that Ms. Giddens has “a pretty profound gift.” “I’ve been doing this for 50 years, and I haven’t seen anything like it, ” he comments.
Rhiannon Giddens, singer, songwriter, and founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, makes her solo recording debut with Tomorrow Is My Turn, due out February 10, 2015, on Nonesuch Records. The album was produced by T Bone Burnett.
Giddens participated in “Another Day, Another Time”, a concert inspired by the Coen brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis. Many critics have stated that Giddens had the best performance at what was called “the concert of the year”.
Four of the songs from her solo album are available for listening Rhiannon Giddens YouTube Channel, “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind”, “Black Is The Color”, and “She’s Got You”.
I love what I am hearing and can’t wait to get her album soon 🙂
Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings has released Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 on November 4. Compiled from meticulously restored original tapes – many found only recently – this historic six-disc set is the definitive chronicle of the artist’s legendary 1967 recording sessions with members of his touring ensemble who would later achieve their own fame as The Band.
Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes is a music event 47 years in the making. It’s an historic album project from five of music’s finest artists — Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons) — in unique collaboration with a 26-year-old Bob Dylan. Produced by project creator T Bone Burnett, the album was recorded in March, 2014 at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, where the artists and Burnett convened for two weeks to write and create music for a treasure trove of long-lost lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967 during the period that generated the recording of the legendary Basement Tapes. The collective completed and recorded dozens of songs, the first 20 of which appear on this deluxe edition.
Look for this profound Dylan music collaborative on your favorite television talk show this week.
Moonalice Interview: Music Technology and Art Discussion with Roger McNamee
Moonalice continues their 2014 East Coast Tour this week. The band will be performing concerts in Connecticut and New York. I urge you if you are in the vicinity of any of these events to come out and see Moonalice perform live.
I had a 75-minute Web discussion with Roger McNamee last week. I am providing “teaser” highlights of the interview that further explains Moonalice’s command of music technology. The next intent is to publish the “entire interview” along with the Moonalice Infinity Music Hall July 31st concert review at the end of the week.
It was my sincere hope that Roger McNamee and I would mesh as music technologists and rock music poster fans. When you read the interview Q&A I’m proud to say that goal was met. Roger is an affable person who openly shared his love for music, people, society and art throughout our conversation.
Question 1: Does Moonalice plan to make recordings available in high-resolution audio for Neil Young‘s PonoMusic?
Roger: It’s a great question. When we did our first album, Moonalice with T Bone Burnett the answer was an emphatic Yes! We recorded it on an optimized audio DVD with the music in high-resolution stereo 24/96WAV. The expectation was that you had a mega DVD which had images that went by while you were listening to it, etc. As it turned out T Bone Burnett was nominated for a Grammy as Producer of the Year for our album and T Bone Burnett’s recording. His pioneering work with packaging, high-resolution and high-end masters gained him that recognition. (The album was produced using XOΔE (CODE), a high fidelity audio standard and optimization system created by Producer Burnett.)
We’re very focused on high-definition video, 1080p and we embed the audio into the video so the high-resolution audio is there. When we got started T Bone, Bono and I were working on a project designed to help artists in a very meaningful way. The first album started us on this commitment with what I knew about technology and anything that came along to see what we could do with it. This notion where we can produce live concert videos at 10% of normal cost was really exciting, the math starts to be pretty interesting.
Can I just tip my hat to you? You are the first person to ask me about high-definition audio and its significance in at least five years.
Questions 2: What is the next technological achievement that you seek to achieve with Moonalice?
We’re more likely to do vinyl before we do another experiment in high-resolution audio. Within our fan base there is a really serious market for vinyl. I believe oddly enough a larger percentage of our fans would be interested in ultra high-definition audio if we could figure out how to deliver it. (We discussed Neil Young and PonoMusic at length which I will include in the full Web audio interview.)
Question 3: I wanted to ask if you would give more information about the Haight Street Art Center?
We created the Haight Street Art Center, okay. The reason you can’t find any information about it is because we haven’t said anything. But I’m really happy to talk about it. The original notion is that I am somebody who has always loved studio art. I always loved poster art from the first time I saw it in the sixties. When I moved to San Francisco in the seventies I had no money at all. But posters weren’t expensive in those days you could get one for $15, a first printing was $25, I could afford that.
T Bone told us we should be part of the San Francisco psychedelic roots ethos. I suggested we should be doing rock poster art. I spoke with Chris Shaw, a natural leader with great organizational skills about how can we create posters for the band. Chris then helped us produce a poster for every show, 100 posters a year and we’re up to 735 different posters now. Wow!
We’ve now had 24 posters artists do posters for us, at least half get 50-100% of their income from that poster art. The problem became how do we get their poster art to be appreciated as fine art and put them in a position to make fine art.
What I realized is that we had to move from doing mass volume posters in offset printing to make great screen art and lithographs. What really came together was that we needed a museum, promotional infrastructure and printing capabilities. The Haight Street Art Center becomes that reality. (There is more to this benevolent art story which I will share later this week.)
Elton John commences his US and European Tour with a concert this Friday, November 8th in Bridgeport, Ct. at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.
As I prepare the music of our heart to more fully appreciate one of our greatest music legends I turn first to his latest recording, The Diving Board. The album was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and produced in Los Angeles by producer T-Bone Burnett.
This video features Elton John giving a track-by-track breakdown. It is insightful and will add to your listening pleasure of The Diving Board
This past June I wrote about a BBC film documentary project, American Epic. The supergroup collaborative on this project includes Robert Redford (Sundance – London), T-Bone Burnett and Jack White as co-producers.
“It’s the story of the American recording industry from 1926 to 1936, this incredible occurrence. In 1926 the record industry fell off 80 per cent in one year because of the proliferation of radio in the big cities. The middle-class people and the wealthy people who were able to buy radios no longer wanted to buy records, because they could get music for free – why buy a record? So the recording companies, having equipment and nothing to do, decided to go down south, where people didn’t have electricity, and therefore didn’t have radios. So they started recording people down south – they started recording the poorest people in the country and broadcasting their voices all around the world.” – T-Bone Burnett
It’s important to take note that certain patterns or trends repeat over time. The record industry is at the “tipping point” with digital download revenues beginning to enter the negative range as sales are down 1% and will probably continue downward from there. Record companies are circling their wagons by making investment stakes in cloud music streaming services, most notably Spotify. So the effect that radio had on record sales is happening again with streaming. The one bright spot is vinyl sales which are up significantly, 30%+. People love specialty vinyl, 180/220 grade vinyl recordings. Just ask Jack White 😉
Elton John noted that he was recently working with T-Bone Burnett, and Jack White to record a direct to analog recording . “I just did a thing with him the other day for ‘American Epic,’ a six-episode program about the history of the blues,” said John. “I got to use the original machine from 1934 that Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong recorded on, and I wrote a special song with Bernie [Taupin], and Jack White played on it. So it went straight to analog. http://ultimateclassicrock.com/elton-john-jack-white-2013/
Jack White is deeply involved with music preservation and specialty vinyl. The Music of Our Heart has blogged about his increasing role as our Saviour of Sound. His record company, Third Man Records has manufactured and is selling the definitive preserved music volumes that will go with and expand upon the American Epic documentary. The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932, Volume 1 at$400.
The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932,’ this epic, two-volume omnibus of art, words and music housed in a limited-edition, hand-sculpted cabinet-of-wonder, to be jointly released by Jack White’s Third Man Records and John Fahey’s Revenant Records. ‘Volume One,’ covers the label’s improbable rise from 1917-1927.
The ‘Rise and Fall’ wonder-cabinet gives equal status to page-turning narrative and new scholarship; original and newly created graphic art; industrial design; and compelling analog and digital music experiences. ‘Volume One’ contains the following:
* 800 newly-remastered digital tracks, representing 172 artists
* 200+ fully-restored original 1920s ads and images
* 6x 180g vinyl LPs pressed on burled chestnut colored vinyl w/ hand-engraved, blind-embossed gold-leaf labels, housed in a laser-etched white birch LP folio
* 250 page deluxe large-format clothbound hardcover art book
* 360 page encyclopedia-style softcover field guide containing artist portraits and full Paramount discography
* Handcrafted quarter-sawn oak cabinet with lush sage velvet upholstery and custom-forged metal hardware
* First-of-its-kind music and image player app, allowing user mgmt of all tracks and ads, housed on custom-designed USB drive
Music is not a thing, but things are important to music. You can’t really understand 1920s blues without learning how to shimmy and slow drag. Gospel becomes richer once you hold the songbooks, and the prayer books, that created a holy framework for its squalls and deep harmonies. – Ann Powers
We have a very rich heritage to explore, listen to and learn about with the American Epic project. I love the supporting music volumes, music authorities like Ann Powers, Tom Cole, Jack White increasing our insights and the next level initiatives of the American Epic project producing a worldwide concert tour, music releases, a book, an exhibition, and an educational outreach program.
As an educator and amateur musicologist I can’t wait to get immerse myself in this music history experience. The first installment of the BBC American Epic The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-1927) will be broadcast on November 19th. Check with your cable provider to see if they offer the BBC program channel (Optimum offers BBC on Channel 101).
Joel and Ethan Coen, T-Bone Burnett, and Scott Rudin announced yesterday a benefit concert entitled Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which will take place at The Town Hall in New York City on Sunday, September 29, 2013. A portion of the proceeds from the concert will benefit the National Recording Preservation Foundation.
I became very interested in this concert especially with Jack White and Patti Smith on the bill. I tried to get presale tickets today but they sold out in 1 minute when I was online trying to purchase (Unavailable at 12:01 p.m.)
There are only 1,500 seats at Town Hall in NYC. Will try my luck with the public sale tomorrow on Ticketmaster. ($100, $75). I haven’t found the event listed on their Website yet but that may be immaterial by tomorrow at 12:01 pm. I think the odds are against us on attending this event as the publicity was very widespread.
I am hoping this concert may be filmed. I personally think it should be made available as a Live Webcast with the demand for tickets being what it is. 😉
The Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack has been announced on Nonesuch Records. The soundtrack features songs by Bob Dylan and Dave Van Ronk, along with tunes performed by stars of the movie, including Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan, as well as Marcus Mumford (Mulligan’s husband) and the Punch Brothers.
The 14-song collection, produced by T Bone Burnett, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, is due out September 17th on Nonesuch (pre-order it here). Soundtrack pre-orders include an exclusive, 11″ x 7″ print from the film.
The Coen brothers have collaborated with T Bone Burnett for the fourth time, who won five Grammys for the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?
“Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” (Traditional; arranged by Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett) – Oscar Isaac
“Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)” (Traditional; arranged by Marcus Mumford, Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett) – Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac
“The Last Thing on My Mind” (Tom Paxton) – Stark Sands with Punch Brothers
“Five Hundred Miles” (Hedy West) – Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and Stark Sands
“Please Mr. Kennedy” (Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) – Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver
“Green, Green Rocky Road” (Len Chandler and Robert Kaufman) – Oscar Isaac
“The Death of Queen Jane” (Traditional; arranged by Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett) – Oscar Isaac
“The Roving Gambler” (Traditional) – John Cohen with the Down Hill Strugglers
“The Shoals of Herring” (Ewan MacColl) – Oscar Isaac with Punch Brothers
“The Auld Triangle” (Brendan Behan) – Chris Thile, Chris Eldridge, Marcus Mumford, Justin Timberlake and Gabe Witcher
“The Storms Are on the Ocean” (A.P. Carter) – Nancy Blake
“Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song) (Traditional; arranged by Oscar Isaac) – Oscar Isaac
“Farewell” (Bob Dylan) – Bob Dylan
“Green, Green Rocky Road” (Len Chandler and Robert Kaufman) – Dave Van Ronk